The business case for transparency is compelling: a 2018 study found that 74% of consumers would switch from their usual brand to another brand that provides more in-depth product information, beyond what is on the physical label. Immediate benefits of transparency include regulatory compliance, safer and more ethical products, and more efficient, cost-effective procurement. In the long term, visibility strengthens brand reputation, increases consumer loyalty, and establishes leaders in corporate transparency.
Many brands and retailers today recognize the benefits of transparency and have taken steps to map their supply chains and engage with consumers:
Supply chain transparency is quickly becoming a must have—the time to act is now. But how do you get started? Follow these steps to supply chain transparency.
Transparency is not an all or nothing endeavor. The transparency market, while growing, is still in the early stages. Today, transparency begins by addressing a specific project or risk:
Achieving supply chain transparency is also beneficial for the long-term. With more knowledge about your supply chain, suppliers, and facilities, you will be well-equipped to address any future risks that may arise.
Regardless of your specific goals, it is important to determine what will define success. Defining what KPIs will indicate a successful transparency project will help you evaluate the results and determine ROI. This may include degree of visibility achieved, cost savings from improved compliance or operational efficiency, concrete sustainability improvements, or revenue growth following a consumer communication plan—but the definition of success depends on your business.
Technology is an important piece of the puzzle. Today’s solutions consolidate and streamline supply chain data at all tiers. They can also synchronize across legacy infrastructures to minimise business disruption. Of course, implementing a new solution will shake things up short term, but doing so will support long-term strategic initiatives.
The right system will have features in place to effectively tackle three common challenges:
With the right tools in place, you can begin collaborating and sharing data with your supply chain network. Begin by determining who your suppliers are and get in touch with them. To encourage participation, it is helpful to:
Once you have successfully mapped one or more of your supply chains, it is time to analyze your data with a critical eye. Potential issues to consider include:
Take advantage of this visibility by examining your supply chains with a critical eye. Your objectives can only be achieved through careful analysis and a willingness to make improvements.
Today, many brands and retailers are choosing to share the positive work they are doing with consumers to gain a competitive advantage and boost sales. By inviting consumers to learn more about a product and its journey, businesses can build a real connection with shoppers.
Technology is a key element for consumer communication. Mobile phones make it easier than ever to instantly share detailed product information, such as country of origin or quality certifications. On-pack labels and augmented reality are a popular way to convey rich data in a compact method. By engaging with consumers in an exciting and data-driven way, brands and retailers have the potential to transform the way we shop.
There is no denying that transparent supply chains are an undertaking that require time, money, and resources. But as the market continues to trend towards radical product transparency, food businesses who invest in greater visibility will see long-term success. By committing to the process, companies can truly revolutionise the way they do business, drive sales, and transform the consumer goods industry of the future.
This blog was written and contributed by:
Director of Marketing