Trend vision Blue Ridge: Supply chain volatility is a major challenge

Trend Vision Blue Ridge

For many businesses, significant supply chain fluctuations in both supply and demand make forecasting difficult. Detailed insight into trends and developments remains essential, however, which is why ever-more organizations are using algorithms and machine learning in their operations.

Blue Ridge has achieved strong growth in supply chain; since starting out in distribution, the company has expanded its focus over time to include retail and subsequently manufacturing too, resulting in a broad view of the supply chain-related trends. “We have identified a number of generic challenges plus some specific challenges in vertical markets,” says Cliff Isaacson, EVP Product Strategy at Blue Ridge. “One key trend right now is supply chain volatility, both on the demand side due to consumer behaviour and on the supplier side.”
This trend particularly affects companies that source materials internationally. “There is currently considerable focus on managing those strong fluctuations in order to ultimately ensure that you have the right goods to meet customer needs. One consequence of this is that companies are sourcing goods much closer to home, i.e. European companies are now looking for suppliers within Europe rather than further afield, such as in Asia. We’re seeing a similar trend in North America.”

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Maarten Baltussen, Blue Ridge‘s Regional VP Europe, adds: “In the Netherlands, many businesses are looking at cost management, especially if they have suffered losses. In that case, they often focus on demand optimization, but hardly anyone focuses on price optimization in combination with supply and demand – yet that is what needs to happen right now. Because while it’s certainly necessary to save costs, the orders still need to be delivered on time. That requires prices to be optimized for retailers, wholesalers and distributors.”

Trend vision Blue Ridge: Supply chain volatility is a major challenge

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