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Evaluating the correlation between demand sensing and product traceability in supply chain

August 3, 2022 - Team EdgeVerve


Traditional demand planning techniques have been rendered useless in the face of increasing supply chain complexity and evolving customer behavior. The pandemic had proven the inefficiency of legacy methods of planning and forecasting future sales. Existing data silos add to the pressing issues, which often give rise to chances of multiple products recalls. This results in millions of dollars in loss for businesses resulting in reputational, legal, and regulatory issues.  In order for companies to strike a perfect balance between surplus and adequate inventories, they need a more ingenious solution.

Demand sensing is the answer to increasing transparency of the supply chain network, reducing the cost of product recalls, controlling quality, and preventing life loss.

What is demand sensing, and how does it help businesses?

Demand sensing powered by AI technology can easily pick up short-term demand trends from the downstream supply chain. As a result, it helps businesses stay future-ready with surplus stocks to meet sudden changes in customer needs adequately.

Today, external forces like global emergencies, weather trends, economic trends, and competitor strategies easily shape and reshape demand. Traditional forecasting methods fail to capture these subtle factors influencing market demand shortly. It prevents companies from out-of-stock situations or over-abundance of inventories, eventually leading to loss of items for want of demand.

This is especially true for perishable food items or goods with shorter shelf lives.

Hence, demand sensing solutions aid companies in planning their inventories in sync with the current demand to avoid using existing stocks that have crossed their shelf lives. Strategic planning of future sales to manufacturing matching stock of items safeguards businesses from making wrong decisions that implicate customers’ lives and ruin their reputation in the market.

Demand sensing and product traceability: Evaluating the correlation between the two

Tracking a product throughout its lifecycle is initiated at the pre-production stage, following the procurement of raw materials to the post-production and distribution stage until the item reaches its end customer. This is what defines product traceability. Product traceability is crucial because it prevents cost overruns for the company.

Demand sensing in the supply chain provides trustworthy demand information to enterprises and helps them reduce the latency period between demand origination and meeting the same with adequate supply. Furthermore, by providing them with enough bandwidth, demand sensing and product traceability solutions empower manufacturers and logistics to comply with quality assurance, hygiene standards, and specific regulations for each design, manufacturing, and distribution process.

Demand sensing solutions allow granular visibility into network-wide sales and inventory. Such insights are crucial for businesses, helping them to understand what is selling, where, and at what speed. When combined with a traceability tracker, enterprises can quickly identify items that need recalling and replacing, proliferate products and efficiently meet unmet demands.

The key challenges in product traceability

Poor visibility in the supply chain gives birth to a disjointed network that hinders the flow of information, impairing the ability of enterprises to understand what is happening upstream in the supply chain and communicate the same internally and externally. In addition, existing data siloes often hinder sharing of critical information with interested parties. Poor transparency in the supply chain can cause irreparable devastation.

Adding to that are some other common problems faced by enterprises, such as:

The challenges mentioned above make it impossible for companies to trace the origin of raw materials used in the manufacturing of goods or identify the non-compliance with regulations regarding sourcing and production.

Companies are left to fend for themselves when issues arise because of the existing data siloes.

Demand sensing in the supply chain: Boosting traceability with AI and ML

Supply chain managers have to operate in a fast-paced environment. Managing increasing customer demand, inventory, raw materials, external market conditions, and planning for inventory and product releases can save the day for all.

Demand sensing powered by AI and Machine Learning helps organizations with the fundamental change in demand earlier in the planning stage. Hence, one can approach suppliers on time to acquire raw materials, verify the origin of each raw material, speed up the manufacturing process, keep up with the quality and quantity expectations, distribute to warehouses at various centers, and ensure the safety and hygiene of stored inventories and oversee their timely distribution to end users.

Inventory management with TradeEdge Platform

TradeEdge, an intelligent supply chain management platform, enables “brands to gain maximum channel visibility, improve retail execution, reach new markets faster and get one step closer to being a resilient enterprise.” It’s enterprise-grade solutions, TradeEdge Demand Sensing and TradeEdge Product Traceability help unlock the true potential of supply chain for businesses.

A cloud-based and scalable digital solution powered by AI and ML algorithms keeps enterprises in complete control over their inventories, monitoring their movement in real-time. In addition, TradeEdge Product Traceability, solutions accommodate legacy and modern records systems across the supply chain and provide:

Demand Sensing and product traceability thus help companies stay ahead of the market by providing an end-to-end view of inventory movement. It also provides them enough bandwidth to effectively trace products throughout their lifecycle and accommodate item proliferation on time.

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