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Preemptive and Cognitive Supply Chains: What Retailers Can’t Save for Later

Why sense-and-respond capabilities are more critical than ever

The holy grail of supply chain management has been to marshal disparate functions and partners to work towards a single organizational goal of customer experience while balancing costs. However, in addition to the existing goal sheet, sense and respond capabilities have become the new supply chain imperatives during COVID-19.

In the pursuit of delivering on customer promise, chief supply chain officers must look beyond the enterprise and focus on the entire retail value chain for building resilient supply chains. This paper explains how a multi-dimensional approach through focused partner, process, and capability interventions, augmented with advanced technologies such as AI/ML and IoT can help retailers fix gaps in key supply chain process areas. It also provides guidelines on how to build preemptive and cognitive supply chains so as to be able to serve customers and communities even when stressed and stretched by unforeseen events.

Padmakumar Anandan Kartha

Consulting Partner, Retail Supply Chain, TCS


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