The implications for consumers are significant in that marketing strategies and overall programs more aligned to their specific needs, and for the organization, better and more accurate reporting and compliance while having more aligned marketing strategies. The focus on these three aspects coming together mean more efficient service to customers while enabling organizations to have more relevant products, services, and strategies for new and existing customers.
Supply chain strategies get anchored in network-based data synchronization. It in the context of supply chains has often been as serial-based in its approach to managing processes as the movement of the packages these networks manage. With the rise in Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and the massive amount of data that is being generated as a result, the need for networks to synchronize data from supply chains and retailers is critical. This data synchronization component that takes in RFID data from retailer's channels on the one hand and delivers reports, insights and analysis to network users on the other is currently the weakest link in this rapidly evolving supply chain. In 2006 the dearth, or absence, of tools for managing this data generated by Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) systems and its parsing, analyzing and use on networks, will be bridged. This area of supply chain data and its resulting need for synchronization is going to be one of the biggest trends impacting networks and network administration within manufacturing companies globally who rely on retailers for the majority of their revenue.
RFID is specifically used for automating the inventory management, logistics, and fulfillment of products through supply chains. While Wal-Mart has been and continues to be one of the key drivers of this technology through their extensive use of pilot programs, RFID is also finding strength in content and data synchronization throughout trading exchanges. In fact Proctor and Gamble actively uses RFID to manage the fulfillment of products throughout their own supply chain directly to retailers' shelves. Clearly the focus on efficiencies in the supply chain is showing ROI, and this is especially true for large shipments of like products. Weston and Garf (2005) quote Randy Maxwell, Senior VP of merchandise Replenishment at Wal-Mart as saying that "We can have a perfect forecast, but if we can't...
All these insights further highlight how critical it is for Wal-Mart to continually refine the processes surrounding their supply chain, and this is made even more acute when expanding internationally.
The key trends analyzed in this report show that the issues of trust, validation and verification of identity, greater use of analytics and business process management, and the focus on greater visibility into supply chains using RFID, all being potentially deliverable on a SaaS platform, show that both people and organizations are seeking quantification and proof of security and trust while wanting the convenience the Internet provides. Taken together all these technologies are combining to influence the development of an entirely different technological class of consumer, one that seeks validation and verification as a prerequisite for doing business with a site or organization first, and seeks convenience only after trust has been earned. An additional aspect of this is the growth of single systems of record, which is critical for the growth of CRM, sales force automation, and all forms of customer-facing strategies. In the end these advances provide more transparency at greater speeds to consumers and organizations alike.
AMR Research (2005) - Hosted CRM Revenues Increase 105% in 2004. AMR Research. Boston, MA August 23, 2005. http://www.amrresearch.com/Content/View.asp?pmillid=18600
Blaze Advisor (2006) - Recent Developments in the Constraint-Based Authentication Technologies by Fair-Isaac, accessed from the Internet on October 23, 2006:
Carr (2003) - it Doesn't Matter. Harvard Business Review. Cambridge, MA. May, 2003
Sarnevitz (2005) - Retail Replenishment Execution: At Wal-Mart, it's All About Processes and People. (Alert) Boston, MA AMR Research (2005, November 14).
Sweeney (2006) - Software as a Service in the ERP World. AMR Research. Boston, MA. June 22, 2006 http://www.amrresearch.com/Content/View.asp?pmillid=19553
Weston and Garf (2005) - Wal-Mart and UPS: Tales in Superior Supply Chains (Assessment of Fall Supply Chain Conference). Boston, MA.
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