Unify with partners and their technology: innovation in the CPG market
Just a decade ago, companies looking to digitize turned by default to the large, well-known technology providers that offered broad-reaching, cross-discipline software. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software was the final word in creating systems of operational excellence, underpinned by robust, industry-standard software.
However, in 2021, companies looking to improve their prospects in competitive markets, such as CPG post-COVID, know that no single monolithic application offers all the answers. To create market differentiation, specialist software, hardware and partnerships need to be sought — and iterated on in a continuous process of improvement.
A spirit of innovation, technology integration, a focus on customer experience: all are aspects of any retailer’s operations that stand between it and becoming a de facto sector leader. In CPG especially, ordering, logistics and returns are all intrinsic parts of what customers have come to expect from every one of their suppliers and vendors.
It is, of course, much easier said than done. Even integrating a single logistics partner’s IT system with the retailer’s e-commerce facilities can be hugely complex. And given most fulfilment and supply chains are complicated beasts, that means layer upon layer of detail. It’s a development and integration puzzle that’s beyond most retail specialists. But so-called point-products (software and hardware that does one thing but does it well) are clearly the means that the household names are succeeding today.
Companies can use huge shortcuts that remove entire layers of necessary technical burden and provide specialist services openly and transparently. To find out how to change operational focus and deploy the latest in technology in all aspects of retail processes, the logistics and fulfilment multinational Geodis has produced a paper that summarises many key issues — and their potential solutions.
Unifying the retail systems with those of customer communications and the entire logistics journey creates the perfect environment to grow top class customer experiences. With a readymade delivery, stock, fulfilment, and returns infrastructure that’s addressable by any retailer’s existing technology stack, companies can concentrate on promoting great comms, hyper-personalized service, and class-leading products.
Companies can arm themselves with their newest and greatest resource, data, and use it to improve what they offer, how it reaches buyers, and how buyers can simply return goods back into stock. Digital information also drives new generations of operational reporting, B2C comms and commerce, future marketing campaigns and exploring new markets. In time, companies can even use their accrued information in machine-learning environments to spot trends, predict obstacles and find new places in daily processes that can be improved.
If specialist software is the tech answer, then specialist partnerships make the business difference. Download the paper here, and find out how to craft both parts of the equation to make an impact in competitive CPG markets.
31 January 2023
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