OSS Supply chain – Shift No. 3

Shift No. 3: From Supply Focus to Demand Focus.
OLD QUESTION: How can we improve the way we supply product in order to match supply and demand better, give the demand pattern?
NEW QUESTION: How can we get earlier demand information or affect the demand pattern to match supply and demand?

Laura Ross Kopczak
and M. Eric Johnson in the “MIT Sloan Management Review.”

OSS and BSS are the best source of demand pattern information that exists in the data gathering arsenal of CSPs. Afterall, they have near-real-time access to usage data and offer advanced trending and thresholding functionality (as well as alerting).

The question however is whether your organisation utilises this demand information just within the network operations team or is it also used further back the supply-chain in product, sales, marketing, supply, distribution, transport, etc?

To quote the MIT Sloan Management Review article again, “Companies have sought to reduce the bullwhip effect in several ways: by eliminating price promotions that cause demand spike, synchronising planning cycles, sharing forecast and demand information, streamlining replenishment through programs such as vendor-managed inventory and changing allocation schemes when product is in short supply. Each approach requires increased information sharing and coordination in the supply chain.”

If this demand and demand projection data can be properly utilised, and the bullwhip effect is cleverly managed, the improved supply-chain has the ability to deliver better cash-flow management for your organisation.

But is it pronounced enough to build a business model around that delivers a competitive advantage? Can you start by digging into your OSS/BSS performance data (ie demand patterns) to see what you can uncover when cross-referencing against your end-to-end supply chain?

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