Ventana Research recently announced its 2023 research agenda for Operations and Supply Chain, continuing the guidance we’ve offered for nearly two decades to help organizations across industries derive optimal value and improved outcomes from business technology.
Readily available, innovative digital technology can help organizations optimize operations by aligning customer demand with fulfillment of products and services via the supply chain, which is often not able to operate at expected levels. Effective use of analytics, collaboration, machine learning, planning and the Internet of Things can increase supply chain agility through improved sourcing, manufacturing, distribution and logistics, dramatically improving the value of products and services to customers. Using performance management technology across the supply chain increases revenue while holding the line on costs. Artificial intelligence using machine learning will have a significant impact on the effectiveness of organizations: Ventana Research asserts that by 2026, one-half of supply chain management organizations will have adopted some form of AI/ML to shorten planning and forecasting cycles and promote agility and resilience. Those that fail to capitalize on technological advances risk diminished competitiveness and agility in responding to shocks.
Over the past three years, organizations experienced the power of technology to enable resilience for business continuity, agility to respond to a rapidly changing environment and the capacity to operate remotely. Digitizing operations and supply chain became a priority. Unfortunately, many organizations continue to underinvest in technology. Ventana Research asserts that through 2025, supply-and-demand-chain management in over one-half of organizations will remain inadequate to ensure resilience and business continuity, requiring aggressive digital innovation.
Our practice of expertise is concerned with all aspects of Operations and Supply Chain, but we have six focus areas for 2023.
- Continuous Planning employs technology such as in-memory computing, advanced analytics and interactive planning to make planning processes faster and more agile. Planning cycles that once took days or weeks can now be accomplished in minutes or hours.
- Continuous Supply Chain systems use software to enable concurrent planning – the antidote to siloed planning – so plans are always in sync across the enterprise to support more nimble supply chain execution.
- Enterprise Resource Planning systems are central to an organization’s handling of inventory transactions management. Today’s ERP systems and analytics take advantage of current technology to support greater agility, adaptability and resilience.
- Product Information Management systems enable organizations to consistently manage product-related information used by business processes with ERP, product life cycle management and supply chain systems coordinated with suppliers and the supply chain.
- Sustainability Management is a new focus for 2023. Increased visibility for environmental, social and governance issues, and especially the need for greater intelligence in achieving ESG objectives including supply chain impacts, increases the importance of these systems.
- Property Technology applies digital applications to the management and use of real estate to support owner, landlord and tenant relationships.
- Supplier Relationship Management systems facilitate transactions and achieve better results by making buying organizations easier to do business with.
We craft our annual research agenda using our firm’s expertise in business requirements, especially the complexities of accounting, tax and capital markets, combined with our knowledge of technology vendors and products. As a result of our market research, we are able to offer insights and best practices to both the lines of business and IT as well as across industry verticals, providing guidance that will help every organization reach its maximum potential.
Continuous planning supports enterprise-wide, high-participation and collaborative planning processes, enabling organizations to execute rapid planning cycles across all departments and business units. Such a process provides executives with detailed answers to what-if questions in real time. Continuous planning employs technology such as in-memory computing, advanced analytics and interactive planning to make planning and budgeting processes more agile and easier. We assert that by 2026, just one-fifth of organizations will incorporate economic and market data into continuous planning processes to enhance profitability and improve revenue management effectiveness. Organizations must shift from silo-based planning to continuous planning to achieve better results.
We are conducting Benchmark Research in 2023 to identify business planning best practices. Our Business Planning Value Index assesses and rates technology vendors’ offerings and the potential of these systems to meet current business planning needs.
The continuous supply chain is an approach that enables organizations to manage interactions with the supply chain through more immediate and better-informed decisions using actionable information. Digital technologies increasingly can intelligently automate time-consuming tasks to help managers and executives achieve greater agility and support desired objectives. However, most organizations lack the systems and processes for supply chain management and will require new investments to remain competitive. Technology can streamline product life cycle management as well as manufacturing and service applications to ensure optimal execution. We assert that by 2025, more than 7 in 10 organizations’ standard information architectures will include streaming data and event processing, allowing more responsive and agile sales and operations planning. For 2023, new Benchmark Research will identify best practices to optimize the supply chain.
Continuous Supply Chain & ERP
ERP technology is evolving to enable a continuous supply chain approach for manufacturing and service industries. ERP in the cloud advances processes for service and supply chains and their efficiency. ERP also increasingly includes technologies such as collaboration and the use of artificial intelligence, using machine learning to support more efficient, accurate and rapid process execution while reducing the need for training. By 2026, one-third of organizations will augment supply chain management expertise with AI/ML technology to drive automation and operational workflows that guide optimization. We are conducting Benchmark Research to identify best practices that will help organizations address emerging ERP system requirements.
Product Information Management
Product information management technology improves product experiences by enabling consistent management of product-related information used in business processes and by consumers. Organizations are maximizing PIM to support a superior digital experience across supply chain operations and the product life cycle. These applications also enable more effective marketing. Through 2025, one-fifth of organizations will connect product information networks with virtual agents supporting the enterprise and customers’ requirements for responsiveness. The transition to the cloud will speed the return on investment and help organizations provide excellent product experiences. There is also pressure for organizations to take advantage of machine learning and robotic process automation. These technologies address product information quality by highlighting issues and opportunities for improvement. One aspect of improvement is the distinct nature of product life cycle management that is not connected to PIM, but should more directly share information together and across the supply chain.
To provide guidance on effective PIM trends, we will publish new Benchmark Research to identify best practices, and a Value Index to assess and rate technology vendors’ potential to meet emerging product needs.
The continued shift to hybrid workplaces for a portion of the workforce challenges traditional corporate office environments that are not prepared for this change. Where people shop and live has put a spotlight on the importance of the use of property technology for increasing efficiency and experiences in the interactions across parties. Property management processes and technologies for both businesses and residential real estate are highly immature and inefficient. These processes will require significant change to cope with today’s environment. Too many organizations rely on manual or inefficient web-based form processes that are cumbersome for property owners and do not deliver a 21st-century customer experience for lessees. We assert that through 2025, one-half of organizations will determine the lack of investment into property technology for operations utilization is contributing to unnecessary inefficiency and attributable costs. The digital revolution in property management will support a more agile and predictive approach to managing locations, using technologies such as the IoT to continuously monitor properties as well as work automation to supervise and support onsite processes. Watch for new Benchmark Research into property technology, which will determine the requirements for innovation and transformation that are desired by the range of parties and relationships.
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