Cap Gemini just published its most recent installment of the Future Value Chain – "Building Strategies for the New Decade." This report, the third in the series, looks at the supply chain and what the future of consumer product distribution may (and possibly should) look like. It's worth a read.
The report calls out collaborative distribution – creating more of a shared infrastructure for product distribution – as a critical strategy to meet future economic and sustainability goals. Here's an excerpt:
"New business models will focus on 'collaborating to compete,' as brand independent and 'smart' supply chains emerge where information (including POS, forecast and inventory data) as well as assets (technologies, facilities and fleets) are shared across the value chain."
Bravo. We second, third and fourth that sentiment. Our concern with this report on the future is that it has almost too "futuristic" a feel. It lacks a sense of urgency. To make the 2020 supply chain described in the report a reality, we have to start right now. Collaborative distribution is happening today, but only with a small group of early adopters who recognize the cost and environmental benefits of sharing warehouse and truck space with others moving goods to the same retail customers. We need more CPG manufacturers to take the first step and work with their retail and 3PL partners to explore the potential of collaborative distribution.
Let's embrace of the vision of the Future Value Chain report. But, more importantly, let's act on it.