How decisions on your sales channels lead to strategic supply chain design requirements

complexity, supply chain, digitalization, S&OP

This article will analyze the complexity resulting from the coexistence of several different sales channels. It is precisely this complexity that continues to be the cause of supply chain performance issues. As a basis, you can check the previous articles from the 10-part series about the root causes of the supply chain performance gap that started with a summary and headed right to the root causes - product portfolio complexity, speed of innovation, and new types of competition.

Dr. Christoph Kilger
By Dr. Christoph Kilger

To gain a competitive advantage, you have to steer new types of competition

performance gap

Today we can observe new types of competition emerging in established market environments closely related to business model innovation and the use of new technologies. Thus, the existing players need to deal with new types of competition to sustain or even strengthen their position. Consequently, "new types of competition" are considered as the emergence of innovative approaches to gain competitive advantages or market share. This is achieved either by generating new customer needs or by better serving existing ones. 

Dr. Christoph Kilger
By Dr. Christoph Kilger

Is your business in sync with digital supply chain innovation yet, or are you falling short of your potential?

supply chain, performance gap, innovation, VUCA

The speed of innovation has increased significantly over the last 15 years and has become a key factor for competitive advantage. The success of technology and innovation leaders like Alphabet, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft illustrate this development. Their products and services, such as the iPhone or video streaming services like Amazon Prime Video, have changed the way we live, work and interact with each other tremendously. However, current technological developments not only have an impact on end-customer markets. More and more use cases are also emerging for companies which can be subsumed under the keywords digital business models, Industry 4.0, IoT, cloud technologies, robotics, and AI.


The core of innovation is to enable people to do tasks better than they previously could or make them do things that they couldn’t do before.


Dr. Christoph Kilger
By Dr. Christoph Kilger

Product portfolio complexity: the big unknown player in supply chain performance

complexity, supply chain, performance gap

Supply chain performance is a measurable indicator based on turnover, costs, and capital employed. We have identified 8 root causes for supply chains lagging behind their performance that we are happy to share with you in a series of articles. Today we will dive deeper into the one cause with the biggest impact on your supply chain performance: product portfolio complexity.

The 8 root causes we have identified are:

  • Product portfolio complexity
  • Speed of innovation
  • New types of competition
  • Multi-channel sales complexity
  •  The complexity of supplier network
  • Regulatory complexity
  • Sustainable requirements
  • Internal complexity

Dr. Christoph Kilger
By Dr. Christoph Kilger

Closing the Supply Chain Performance Gap

supply chain, performance gap

The purpose of a supply chain is to provide customers with physical goods in the right quantity and quality at the right time and place. Multiple partners collaborate on the operational processes of a supply chain – material suppliers, manufacturers, logistics providers, distributors, retailers – to fulfill customer demand. Thus, a supply chain can be seen as a virtual entity, distributed over many locations and organizations, connected via material, information, and financial flows. Being virtual, distributed, and connected, supply chains are inherently difficult to manage. As a result, many supply chains operate in a mode that is far from optimal. We call this the supply chain performance gap.


Dr. Christoph Kilger
By Dr. Christoph Kilger

What's the connection between blockchain and supply chain performance?

supply chain, innovation, digitalization

The driving force behind blockchain technology is decentralized data linked together like a chain in a network across several computers so that control does not reside with a single entity. When first launched in the implementation of Bitcoin, this revolutionary idea gave rise to a whole set of crypto exchanges, financial solutions, and decentralized platforms. But the scope of blockchain technology is much larger. 

Magdalena Boyen
By Magdalena Boyen

Agility in the supply chain: what defines it?

supply chain, VUCA

No matter how big or small, all markets are ruled by many factors and rules that are impossible to predict perfectly. In an age where conditions change by the second, it is difficult, if not impossible, to predict trends and events without the help of a framework that allows versatility and helps you to stay ahead of the game. Today, the market is defined by VUCA - Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity. To survive and thrive in the next normal requires a transformation not to be blindsided at any point. A vital element of this transformation is agility, and the agile supply chain is one part of this epoch.

Dr. Adrian Reisch
By Dr. Adrian Reisch

Supply Chain Segmentation: why you should segment your supply chain.

complexity, transparency, data science, VUCA

Increased levels of customization and particularization of every capability have made their way into all forms of business and production. The supply chain has not been able to stay out of this domain of reorganization, and as a result, supply chain segmentation is a hot topic.

Dr. Adrian Reisch
By Dr. Adrian Reisch

A Comprehensive Guide to Allocation Planning in Modern Supply Chains

covid19, VUCA, S&OP

Our world is changing and becoming increasingly more volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA). What does this mean for top-performing supply chains? To maintain a sustainable competitive advantage over competitors, they need to excel in three qualities:

  • They’re agile and can react speedily to sudden changes in demand or supply.
  • They can easily adapt to evolving market structures and strategies.
  • They always align the interests of all stakeholders to optimize the chain’s performance while also maximizing each stakeholder’s interests.


Allocation planning plays a key role in these three processes. This detailed guide discusses allocation planning, why it’s important in supply-constrained supply chains, and how it can help supply chains achieve agility, adaptability, and alignment in a challenging post-COVID world.

Dr. Adrian Reisch
By Dr. Adrian Reisch

Why 9 out of 10 companies don't achieve sustainable results in their continuous improvement process.

supply chain, execution management, manufacturing

Almost every production company has a continuous improvement process: an army of people is constantly working on improving operational KPI’s, like, for instance, Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE). However, despite all the effort, results may be stagnating. Does this sound familiar? Then you most likely have the wrong focus in steering operations. In this article, our manufacturing expert Martin Dieker shares what indicators make the difference in steering your operations.

Martin Dieker
By Martin Dieker
Supply Chain Brief