LATEST THINKING


Technology vision 2014 for CPG companies-digital technology disruptors

Six CPG technology trends: Using digital disruption to economically compete and win in today’s global markets.

Overview

Taking advantage of technology trends can give consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies the digital edge they need to appeal to consumers’ desires to have relevant, real-time and one-on-one interactions with your brands. Digital technology enables anytime/anywhere shopping and it can also add agility and speed to all that underpins the business, including people, processes and platforms.

Below lists six digital technology disruptors and enablers that CPG industry leaders need to act on in the next three to five years as they continue the journey to becoming digital enterprises.

Supply Chain

Digital Disruptor for CPG Companies: Data Supply Chain

Digital is dramatically redefining how CPG companies look at data. In an increasingly competitive environment, CPG companies will pull data from across the value chain - suppliers, retailers and teams across your company.

Supply Chain

This can be done over and again to make better business decisions and to deliver personal experiences, not just personalized products.

A data supply chain automates the flow of data to give insights into retailer point of sales, product inventory, employee interactions and more.

To get started:

  • Unlock your data: Develop a data architecture strategy that enables movement of data and breakdown of data.

  • Let it flow: Make data available and look for gaps against the critical parts of the value chain.

  • Package it for action: Identify how to capture the right data, put it in the right format and share it at the right moment.

Digital and Physical

Digital Disruptor for CPG Companies: Benefits of Blurring Digital and Physical

Wearable devices, smart objects and machines are blurring the lines between digital and physical. This digital disruptor provides real-time intelligence that changes how consumers interact with products and how CPG companies operate.

Digital/Physical Blur

When digital technology is seamlessly infused in real-world experiences, it yields rich and contextual information to augment experiences.

CPG companies must consider how they can build more modular platforms and applications that will provide the user experience that customers and consumers demand.

To get started:

  • Eliminate lack of context: Establish platforms that enable the creation and delivery of contextual information.

  • Get personal and execute with excellence: Use dynamic analytic engines to identify the right offers per consumer.

  • Test and Toss: Pilot programs to evaluate the effectiveness of digital promotion tactics and technologies.

Crowdsource

Digital Disruptor for CPG: The Crowdsource Advantage

Crowdsourcing provides access to new ideas that increase consumer relevance and sales, an expanded and cost-effective workforce, and unique capabilities.

Crowdsource

Cloud, social and collaboration technologies are literally changing the face of today’s workforce and engaging target consumers in product innovation and marketing campaigns.

There are a variety of ways to begin leveraging the power of the crowd:

  • Bring consumers into the fold for product innovation-

  • Staff up for the short term: Leverage an expanded workforce to gain immediate access to specialized skills, such as analytics, as needed.

  • Bring the store to you: Rather than deploying your people to the field for store visits, use the crowd to share information about poorly displayed products or lack of inventory.

Mobile Apps

Digital Enablers for CPG: Integrate Systems via Mobile Applications

Consumers expect an app-based solution can solve just about every problem, and increasingly those apps integrate with each other to create an ecosystem that keeps the consumer’s attention.

Business Applications

CPG companies must consider how they can build more modular platforms and applications that will provide the user experience that customers and consumers demand.

For example, Michelin tire company is rolling out a mobile app store capability—an app factory and a set of APIs so that independent tire dealers can develop better apps for their customers. To get started:

  • Take stock: Inventory your current applications and consider which may benefit from a mobile and an app-driven approach.

  • Move from “consuming apps” to “owning apps”: Your employees, customers, consumers and partners expect more flexible, modular solutions. A new approach is required where you build your own apps.

  • Create a platform on which to serve up insights: Creating an app-based suite of solutions requires development of technology platforms that sit behind the application layer and can be accessed flexibly, therefore enabling app development on top of them.

Hyperscale

Digital Enablers for CPG: Harnessing Hyperscale to Process Data

Today’s digital trends create an exponential need for data and processing power. Technology advances have paved the way for faster, cheaper and bigger hyperscale systems.

Hyperscale

Consumer growth trends, such as increased globalization and anytime/anywhere shopping expectations are also driving the need. Big data has even bigger processing requirements, and the demand for processing at scale is surging.

Today’s hyperscale hardware appliances enable the speed and power to perform real-time analytics on huge datasets in-house. To get started:

  • Inventory your IT: Identify your data storage needs and the magnitude of devices producing data in your network and forecast their expected usage based on one-year and three-year business growth strategies.

  • Model before you modernize: Update models of your digital business’s most demanding computing processes to understand the advantages, tradeoffs, opportunities and risks of hyperscale hardware choices.

  • Be flexible: Maintain hybrid hyperscale deployment strategies that account for improvements in offerings across SaaS, PaaS, and hardware to support varying enterprise activities.

Resilience

Digital Enablers for CPG: Building Resilience for Anything

Consumers expect their information to be protected.

Resilience

To stem any vulnerability and keep your mobile apps, in-store technology, e-commerce sites and CPG social network accounts up and running, you need to architect for resilience—building systems to survive failure, and then recovering quickly.

To get started:

  • Invest in your suit of armor: During the budgeting process, look for security—and infrastructure-related investments that maximize business process resilience per dollar spent.

  • Mitigate business downtime risks: Try to shift compute loads to public cloud infrastructure—either during peak times or while under attack.

  • Thwart threats: Create a security road map to build advanced detection and external threat intelligence capabilities. Improving security will be increasingly important as you look to the crowd to expand your workforce.

Background

Every year, the Accenture Technology Labs and Accenture Research organization, pinpoint the emerging IT developments that will have the greatest impact on companies and other organizations in the years ahead. The 2014 research effort began with the collection of more than 3,000 ideas and comments on technology trends, disruptions and hypotheses from the architects, engineers and scientists across Accenture who see the impact of technology changes every day in their work with clients.

Accenture’s CPG knowledge leaders have synthesized these findings to reveal the impact of these trends and opportunities they present to the CPG industry.

Recommendations

Becoming a digital CPG company isn’t just about how to incorporate technology into the business; it’s about using technology to reinvent ourselves to thrive in today’s digital world.

Technology unlocks opportunities to create and deliver context-specific information at the point of need; access the expertise and scale of the crowd to co-create products or solve business problems; develop apps that allow consumers, suppliers and customers to work harmoniously across the value chain.

It’s an exciting journey ahead for CPG companies as they moved toward destination digital.