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Smart Supply Chain Management is Key to Success in the ‘Age of Now’

We want stuff now. Later is too late. That is the essential attitude that defines the “Age of Now” that Brian Knotts writes about in his blog at GovLoop. Experiments involving same-day delivery have been cropping up now amongst major companies in order to learn how to best take financial advantage of this instant gratification attitude. With its Amazon Prime customers, Amazon recently found that merely displaying an icon that promises same-day availability of a product increases sales conversions by up to 25%. Smartening up your supply chain management will be necessary to best fit this shift toward faster deliveries. Detractors are quick to note that, while customers want same-day service, they sure do not want to pay the high costs associated with it. However, technology improves all the time to lower these costs, and it is posited that customers will come to demand same-day service once they have a chance to get used to it being an option. In order to know if your supply chain will be able to keep up when this notion becomes reality, you must be able to answer affirmatively to all the following questions: Does the supply chain management solution they employ offer the organizational transparency needed to reduce delivery costs while increasing efficiency? Are fleet schedules and vehicle routes optimized? Do they have real-time work order communication with rolling assets? Do they even know the whereabouts of all assets at a given time? Do they have the ability to track multiple warehouses and truck inventories? Are drivers equipped with connected mobile devices that allow them to communicate with customers about arrival or delivery times? Can they guarantee service delivery windows of 15 minutes instead of three or four hours? There is a reason why the word “swift” can mean both “fast” and “smart.” Your supply chain needs to be swift if it is going to prosper in the Age of Now.

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