Data analytics provider SAS and global logistics company C.H. Robinson have partnered to improve supply chain efficiency.
The companies are developing an end-to-end supply chain solution that integrates inventory and demand signal data with real-time transportation data. By enabling the control of a supply chain from a centralized operation, companies will be able to more easily make adjustments in scheduling and carriers, as well as react to shifting consumer demand.
“The C.H. Robinson and SAS collaboration uses data and analytics to solve a gargantuan supply chain problem: agility,” said Brian Kilcourse, retail and CPG analyst at shooting sports distributor RSR Group. “As 2020’s shortages illustrated, COVID pushed retailers and consumer goods companies over the supply chain cliff. The C.H. Robinson-SAS partnership combines data from retailers and consumer goods companies with logistics and transportation data to build faster, more resilient, cost-effective shipping methods that honor traditional models while clearing a path for needed innovation.”
Within an integrated data loop, SAS triggers a demand plan that feeds into C.H. Robinson’s dynamic transportation procurement tool. This in turn connects into the Navisphere supply chain management platform to provide real-time visibility of inventory, which then links back and informs SAS’ Intelligent Planning suite.
Retailers can connect their corporate demand plans to products and freight on the move, enabling them to better react to real-time demand and transportation changes.
“Our work with C.H. Robinson and others at the MIT FreightLab has shown that the freight transportation industry needs innovation in procurement and demand-planning to reduce cost, minimize risk, and increase the level of service for shippers,” said Chris Caplice, executive director of the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics (CTL) and FreightLab. “This partnership helps move the industry forward in the right direction of a more responsive and agile transportation procurement solution.”
Companies that change their mindset from long-term planning to agile planning through the use of real-time data are best positioned for success, noted Richard Widdowson, VP of global retail and CPG solutions at SAS. “[The partnership] will help make opportunities and challenges visible as they happen so our customers can accomplish more — even during a disruption of pandemic proportions.”
D2C brands reap several benefits, including increased profits and customer loyalty. But where does that leave supply chain intermediaries, such as distributors and third-party retailers? Let’s find out.