For the manufacturers of today, the era of “let’s build something and let the consumers buy what we make” is long gone. The consumers are now driving the supply chain, in both retail and manufacturing, and it is not anymore always about being the leader of the pack to become successful.

A lot of retailers are changing their supply chain procedures in order to reflect a more consumer-focused evolution. Some companies were too slow to adapt and are now suffering because of this. So for manufacturers to survive and grow, they need to have an eye out on developing experiences that are centered on customers with regards to their supply chain processes.

Reinventing the traditional approaches to anticipate demand is quite challenging for many organizations. This is especially true for manufacturers, retailers, and distributors that look to continue evolving. The Internet of Things and Big Data have enabled companies to get closer and acquire better insights to their customers. These emergent technologies can be used to deliver the kind of experience consumers expect.

The world of manufacturing is already changing, and the speed in which it does is accelerating at a steady pace in response to the spread of digital insights and e-commerce. The continued multiplying of digital signals, the proliferation of Internet access and much more are all changing the way manufacturing is performed nowadays.

To meet the challenges associated with customers and this evolution of consumer change, the manufacturers of today need to incorporate insights and data in a complete evolved and new way. Business to consumer and business to business models are starting to blur, and creating a new model requires the convergence of digital and physical supply chains.

Aside from that, supply chain processes also should evolve to drive the company’s growth and profitability. It needs to work towards responsiveness in real time to the shared business scenarios and what-ifs. Aside from that, it has also been agreed that collaboration done internally and externally across demand and supply processes is important. But not many manufacturers are taking advantage of the technological solutions which enable supply chain processes to be done more intelligently and faster.

For manufacturers to become successful in the future, they need to evolve their supply chains and head towards digitalization. Doing so will allow them to best respond to their new consumers by sensing and shaping their demand. With the help of big data and the IoT, things would be made much easier.