Supply chain management is not just a way to control expenses but also a way to increase sales and profits. While IT and operations executives are primarily involved in this area of specialization more and more, marketing and sales are discovering the value and return-on-investment (ROI) of managing the flow of goods and information between the factory and retailer, and ultimately into the hands of the consumer.
For those who utilize supply chain management to its full potential, it has become a source of competitive advantage that needs to be understood and practiced throughout various levels of an organization. At the same time as the operations executives are reducing their inventory and costs of logistics while ensuring product availability to customers, marketing and sales are using the technologies and techniques to better execute their sales plans at the store level, ultimately leading to increased customer satisfaction.
Why the change? Because we are moving from being manufacturing-centric to consumer-centric in the global marketplace. And this is where sales and marketing finally completes the picture. “It starts and ends with the customer,” says CESCA keynoter Bob Willett, CEO of Best Buy International and CIO of Best Buy. “If we can take costs out of our supply chain, it helps everyone and enables us to pass the benefit onto the customer.