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Interview Supply Chain
Keeping one step ahead
of demand
Manufacturing & Logistics IT spoke
with Martin Nurser of Tata Consultancy
services (TCS), and Timothy Hughes,
business development director, supply
chain planning, Oracle, about their
respective organisations’ partnership in
taking to market an end-to-end supply
chain management and application
offering, and how this can help to take a
substantial amount of cost and waste out
of manufacturers’ business processes.
n the wake of the downturn, many industry
I
sectors, such as consumer packaged
Martin Nurser: “Our joint offering is
goods (CPG), have witnessed customers
fully supported by the expertise
Oracle has to offer, not just in
increasingly looking for cheaper or
Europe but also in the US; while TCS
discounted products, in addition to
in the UK is similarly supported by
buying in reduced quantities. Oracle’s Timothy the business process management
Hughes highlights the fact that, among many
expertise that is available from
of the leading supermarket chains, there has
dedicated specialists in India.”
been a distinct move towards greater sales of
own-branded goods, often at the expense of
the most commonly associated brands of the
particular products in question. “For example, Changes in buying habits
consumers aren’t necessarily buying a leading Because of such changes in buying habits,
brand of cornflakes as often at the moment, there is increasing pressure from retailers for
instead opting to pick up the supermarket’s brands to come up with more product promotion
own brand instead in order to save money,” ideas, which can involve altered or re-packaging
he said. “And whereas in the past, customers goods, together with accompanying promotional certain types of goods. “Demand for certain
might have bought two boxes, they may now material such as giveaways or in-store goods may have reduced substantially, while
have got into the habit of buying just the cardboard advertising collateral. “Therefore, other goods, or brands of goods, may increase
one instead.” Hughes adds that this type of the manufacturers serving these brands need to a sizeable degree, and manufacturers need
change in consumer buying patterns naturally to be in a position to receive information to keep on top of these changes,” he said.
has an impact on the supply chain. “We have related to alternative production specifications
seen an increasing number of manufacturers or quantities as soon as possible in order to Even before the so-called credit crunch came
and suppliers coming to us pointing out that avoid unnecessary overstock, cannibalisation to the fore, Oracle had released to market its
they have a warehouse full of goods that or late deliveries, etc.,” said Hughes. He also Demand Signal Repository solution in May
nobody wants and seeking advice on how pointed out that, in the current market climate, last year. Hughes outlined its core value and
best to offload product in as cost-effective manufacturers often have to manage more functionality: “This solution converts disparate
way as possible.” volatile changes in volume demand related to sets of downstream data into retail demand >>
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MANUFACTURING
May 2009 &LOGISTICSIT
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