The increasing digitisation of all aspects of a product’s supply chain can present significant opportunities at both a local and global level by providing access to a truly global marketplace for goods.
Coeus has worked with some of the most recognised organisations and their brands worldwide to help drive the digital agenda, via strategy and execution of global capabilities and the realisation of benefits, as well as optimisation through improved efficiencies and operational effectiveness across channels and across the supply chain.
The dramatic surge of change in consumer demand and expectations is being felt ever more strongly within the consumer products industry. The need to demonstrate product differentiation and optimising supply chains is ultra-critical at a time when the cost of R&D and innovation is soaring. Coeus aims to support and enable truly agile consumer businesses to help them to keep pace with changing consumer behaviours and their heightened expectations of service delivery.
The globalisation of markets through technology brings huge opportunities for those organisations which have a solid strategy and are focused both on the short- and medium-terms but foster a culture of flexible thinking, and agility to addressing consumer demand. These companies are therefore well-positioned to take advantage of upscaled demand, and ready to deliver consumer products in a wholly different manner than would have been the case only ten years ago.
This single, global market and increased competition does, however, also bring downward pressures on unit pricing. This in turn loads pressure to optimise significantly at all stages of R&D, production and delivery channels, and to protect thinner operating margins than the typical double-digit expectations of old. Smart organisations will play their part by driving these operational efficiencies, improved effectiveness in both business and technology delivery processes and optimising the collection, analysis and interpretation of vast quantities of empirical, operational and customer data. This data will both enable and underpin the business transformation necessary to thrive in the future: understanding, meeting and exceeding customer demand; addressing compliance and regulatory requirements, and demonstrating traceability of production through the product lifecycle.
It is no longer possible for a retail business to operate using a single channel to market, customers now expect an omni-channel retail experience, and these heightened expectations often encompass next day delivery direct to the customer in many cases. Retailers are facing pressure to rapidly integrate their systems, transform business processes, and implement new systems of innovation, which all seek to unify retail channels and ensure they provide a consistent customer experience via optimised sales, stock and internal back office processing. The number of shoppers leveraging mobile devices continues to rise, as well as the number of organisations which operate ‘direct to consumer’ through subscription clubs which bypass traditional manufacturer-wholesale-retail dynamics. Regardless of whether the customer is purchasing, showrooming, browsing or bridging in-store and online via their mobile device, their experience across omni-channel interfaces will significantly affect their purchasing decisions.
Coeus understands that the market knowledge of the average consumer is increasing exponentially both through access to data which compares products and pricing in real-time, and use of technologies which use advanced analytics to understand individuals’ wants and needs, to allow smart retailers to apply differentiation and segmentation to their marketing, and to appeal to the widest range of potential consumers based on a seamless purchasing experience across channels and customer engagement points, physical and virtual, using virtual assistance, artificial intelligence and reducing strain on the back office systems through full integration from the front end customer window. The pace of technological change within the industry is exponential, with increased competition from disruptive new market entrants. Retailers will need to place strategic bets on which technologies will deliver the highest return on investment (ROI) and enable them to best know, appeal to and sell to customers who are using other technologies to bypass traditional and now outdated ways of shopping.
Richard was named 'Digital Champion of the Year (2019) by the Global Sourcing Association. His main focus is helping business and IT leaders drive strategic change using technology and data. His approach is multi-disciplinary and brings together experience from various roles held across business, IT and consulting. Recent achievements include developing the technology transformation, strategy and business case for a large financial services client.