Five months ago, feels like five years, back in late 2019, I wrote, "CPG companies' online channel is rapidly growing … with sales expected to double in five years." My, how things have changed. In less than one month, there were 35% more e-commerce CPG buyers, Amazon could no longer meet its 2-day prime shipping promise, and I am still waiting for the desk that I ordered two months ago.
The current global pandemic has not only forced immediate readjustments for CPG but will undoubtedly disrupt and transform supply chain business models permanently – or at least until the risk has reduced to an acceptable level – as consumers adapt to a new world of virus avoidance.
Innovative companies are cutting supply chain complexity and accelerating responsiveness using artificial intelligence. By applying AI and machine learning against vast sets of supply chain data to unearth insights into problems and performance, enterprises are augmenting knowledge-intensive areas such as supply chain planning to be more dynamic, flexible, and efficient.
Computerization, the Internet and automation ushered in Industry 3.0, revolutionizing the way we work. Now there’s IoT, cloud computing, 3D printing, autonomous vehicles, mobile, social and Big Data. Welcome, Industry 4.0. In the not-to-distant future supply chain planners will sit in control rooms with a real-time view of inventory at all nodes of the supply chain.