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How you can make your supply chain a winning team


April 20, 2022

As a sports fan, I watch a lot of big sporting fixtures, from American football to the Olympics. Whatever the sport, the personal stories of athletes remind us of the value of hard work and dedication—and the resilience we all need to navigate tough times.

The extreme pressure athletes face to perform during a game makes me think about my industry, and the complexity supply-chain professionals face not just individually but as a collective. After all, what’s a supply chain if not a giant interconnected team? With continued supply chain disruptions globally, businesses need to be prepared to push through as a team every day.

At Accenture, we get to make those important assists that help our clients ultimately achieve success. And we do that by setting up an ecosystem of partners to build tools and processes to meet the exact needs of our clients. This teamwork helps our clients address big challenges while preparing them to embrace new opportunities. Here’s how.

Winning the race against climate change

At the heart of Accenture’s digital core offering lies SAP, a tremendous team player on multiple fronts, and also when it comes to the issue that is on everyone’s minds: sustainability. Given that 60% of global emissions come from supply chains, our industry has a critical role in addressing climate change.

A key strategy is reducing scope 3 emissions and building circular business models. Together with SAP, we’re building cloud solutions that help companies embrace the circular economy. These solutions leverage technologies such as AI, digital twins and predictive analytics. What we aim to address are two critical challenges: managing complex regulations and reducing plastic use. Focusing on these two areas can help us drive sustainable and profitable growth through improved compliance and lower costs.

Building supply chain resilience

Just as an athlete needs to keep going despite a fall or injury, supply chain professionals need to build resilience into their operations’ DNA. Supply chain disruption is one of the major challenges businesses face today. Nearly half of supply chains’ operations reported six or more unique disruptive events over the past 12 months.1

We’re working with our ecosystem partners to help businesses build more resilient supply chains. One of the capabilities we are improving is visibility—the ability to see, analyze and improve every step along the way. For instance, Blue Yonder and Accenture combine rich internal and external data from across a company’s digital supply chain assets to provide a proactive view into specific supply chain issues. Such a solution allows businesses, like Tata Consumer Products Limited (TCPL), to quickly resolve problems that arise, as well as plan for future scenarios.

Enabling the customer-centric supply chain

Our industry doesn’t succeed unless the customer does.

Yet it’s difficult to respond to constant demand changes, considering many companies have to manage up to nine different demand forecasts to make informed decisions.

Intelligent digital technology can transform the planning process—and make jobs easier. One way to do that is to implement integrated business planning on a single platform with one data model. We’re working with our partners at o9 to roll out their Digital Brain. The platform leverages both artificial and human intelligence to improve financial performance and agility for our clients.

Cloud is another important enabler for creating a more agile, customer-centric supply chain. With Kinaxis, we are implementing a cloud-based platform called RapidResponse. Using the platform, our clients can adapt to new trends and make confident, more sustainable planning decisions.

Creating new value with procurement

Procurement professionals also score high when they team with our ecosystem partners. Along those lines, we recently worked with Coupa to transform a global food giant’s procurement with Business Spend Management platform, powered by cloud, data and AI. Coupa’s solutions also help organizations with responsible and sustainable sourcing practices. They offer visibility into ethical, carbon-neutral and circular-economy supply solutions, while reducing waste and risk.

Today’s supply chains are facing complex challenges. Intelligent technology can help, but it can be difficult to know where to start. With such high stakes, just like in top-level competition, no single player can do it on their own. It’s the team—and the right strategy—that gets the result. With the help of Accenture’s ecosystem partners, we’re committed to getting our clients where they need to go: to the top.

1BCI Supply Chain Resilience Report 2021


Chad Ackermann

Managing Director Lead – Supply Chain & Operations – Connected Solutions