Supply chain execution is the second critical function required to support the demands of both the consumer and the retailer.  The execution function puts all of the pieces together from your collaborative supply chain partnerships to complete what is the most critical aspect of the consumer shopping experience; the delivery of the product.  After all is said and done, if the consumer does not receive their product in an efficient and pleasing manner, whether in a brick and mortar store or delivered to their door, it doesn’t really matter how positive the shopping experience.  The two critical factors to the delivery is the quality of the product and the positive experience.

The planning and coordination of both requirements and capabilities all pays off in the execution.  This is clearly not as simple or straight forward as it may sound.  When you are looking at thousands of moving parts and both inbound and outbound orders across the breadth and depth of the supply chain you can see how important planning is to effective execution.  This is also another area where you big data collection and analytics comes into play to provide additional information to support your planning and coordination.  The big data must be shared across all supply chain partners in order to be the most effective.  Probably the single greatest benefit of collaboration is the value that can be derived through sharing information across the partner network. 

Effective planning and execution requires measurements of key performance indicators to monitor and measure the performance.  In addition these metrics help you to identify the areas of improvement and then the effects of your improvement plans and actions.  I think that supply chain execution is all about the metrics, every step through the supply chain can be monitored through the execution statistics to measure and rate the effectiveness.  The key to measuring the effectiveness is the key performance indicator  metrics and an important factor to measuring the KPI’s is the ability to collect the data across the supply chain.  This is why I continue to preach on the importance of collaboration, the value of collaboration across the extended supply chain is invaluable when you take into account the importance and benefits derived from measurements and analytics data that can be provided by all of the partners across the chain. 

The challenge for partners in the extended supply chain comes down to the definition of the metrics and then the analysis of those metrics from the view of the extended supply chain.  This is just the beginning though because once you identified a method to identify the metrics you must continuously review and update which metrics to monitor and this is based on the overall performance of the supply chain and the challenges of the supply chain.  This is not an easy process and it would be most beneficial to the process and the value derived by the extended supply chain to implement a team of cross functional and cross partner members to perform the analysis and identify potential new metrics.

And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumers’ experience?  Improving the consumers experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas.  How can you support these continuously changing requirements?