Tag: digital transformation

COVID-19 and its Effect on the Supply Chain

COVID-19 and its Effect on the Supply Chain

Many countries have been forced to take measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic to keep people safe. Without a doubt, such measures are highly disruptive to business operations, particularly to the interconnected supply chain around the world.

According to a survey by the Institute for Supply Management, supply chains in different regions have been affected to varying degrees, with 6% of the respondents being disrupted in early March. By the end of the month, drastic disruptions were being reported in North America (15%), Japan (17%), Europe (24%) and China (38%)1.

Shipping, for instance, can be greatly affected by closing for any period of time, with eMarketer reporting that 47% of companies would not be able to continue shipments within 2 weeks of closing a facility2. In addition, Orion Market Research reports that the manufacturing industry is encountering bottlenecks in the supply chain both nationally and internationally – especially in areas severely hit by the pandemic2.

Growth and investment impact

Almost all the countries affected by the pandemic are focusing on fulfilling the high demand for medicines, pharmaceuticals, medical supplies and equipment. This shift has reduced demand for other raw materials and many other traded commodities. Therefore, sectors delivering non-essential goods have been seriously hit with lesser or zero demand during the pandemic. This has influenced the movement of goods across nations and created a substantial gap in supply and demand.

Due to the uncertainties created by the pandemic, forecasts on the imminent economic state are not available yet3. In 2018, the worth of the global supply chain market was at $14.5 billion, growing at a CAGR of 10.5%, and was expected to reach almost $24 billion by 2024. But due to the disruptions brought by the pandemic, this growth is expected to decrease. To make matters worse, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) estimated that the global foreign direct investment will decrease by 5% to15% due to downfall in the manufacturing sector coupled with factory shutdowns.

Going forward

This pandemic has exposed the need to create a sustainable supply chain across the globe. Now more than ever, manufacturers need to be more agile to survive and remain competitive. However, many fail to create a future-proof plan that will help them mitigate the challenges brought by a crisis like COVID-19.

The manufacturing industry needs to take concrete steps to succeed, starting with investments in solutions that help them navigate any drastic changes in supply and demand. To mitigate the effects of shifting demand in the future, manufacturers must learn from the changes brought by the pandemic, and work to preserve their consumer base by meeting consumers where and how they want to shop. This requires them to be able to deliver accurate, complete, rich and up-to-date product content across channels, so they can offer the product experiences that customers will seek during, and after times of crisis.


1Institute for Supply Chain Management – COVID-19 Global Supply Chain Disruptions Continue

2 eMarketer – Supply Chain Disruption due to the Coronavirus According to Companies Worldwide, March 2020

3 PR Newswire – Impact of COVID-19 on the Global Manufacturing Industry, 2020

4 Entrepreneur – Covid 19: Effect of the Pandemic on Logistics and Supply Chain

Conversations with Contentserv:
World Wide Technology

Conversations with Contentserv

In this episode of “Conversations with Contentserv” we speak with Charlie Lawhorn, Chief Digital Advisor of World Wide Technology, a global technology service provider of innovative IT and supply chain solutions for large public and private organizations.

We discuss how robust Product Information Management (PIM) and Master Data Management (MDM) solutions strengthen the digital strategies of companies. Furthermore, we chat about how these solutions allow organizations to differentiate themselves from the competition as well as best practices for their successful implementation and deployment.

How AI is Changing B2B Commerce

how ai is changing b2b commerce

Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to be on the rise, and it has brought a lot of positive opportunities for businesses. Buyers have started to get better experiences as AI has enabled businesses to approach consumers more creatively. In many cases, by providing personalization or customized messaging. B2B vendors have also been transforming the way they do business. Many have undertaken digital transformation journeys, and they now look towards AI to gain greater benefits. But how is AI driving change in the B2B space?

AI accelerates growth and revenue

A recent survey by Gartner showed that by 2020, 30% of B2B companies will employ AI to augment at least one of their primary sales processes. These companies have implemented an AI strategy to accelerate their growth and revenues by:

/         Using relevant data for insights. AI helps B2B vendors identify and segment buyers based on their needs, location and historical preferences. They can create tailored marketing approaches to target clients with the use of valuable insights about prospects throughout the buying cycle. This approach helps deliver the right products and services to clients, ultimately increasing conversion rates and revenue.

/         Generating quality leads. A study by Harvard Business found that companies that use AI for sales were able to increase their leads by 50%. By leveraging AI, businesses can gain insights from a wide base, increasing their capacity to identify the best B2B buyers. This helps increase the number of leads generated by the sales team while also ensuring its quality.

/         Streamlining internal tasks. A report says that 80% of a sales teams’ time is spent on cold-calling and lead nurturing activities. That leaves them with just enough time and energy to actually work on closing leads. Adopting AI can significantly reduce the time spent by employees on menial tasks by 40%, according to McKinsey. Labor-intensive tasks such as data management can be minimized by embedding AI into different data management and automation solutions. AI can free up employees, thus encouraging collaboration and improving internal work processes.

/         Delivering accurate product content. Buyers are extremely selective when it comes to purchasing products from a website or a store. They require accurate and consistent product content whether they are at a physical store or visiting an e-commerce site. And they want access to rich and up to date product content all the time. AI makes it possible for B2B vendors to deliver the most up to date and accurate content by efficiently delivering the right content to the right channels.

AI enhances buyer experiences

By adopting AI, B2B vendors can also:

/         Predict buyer behavior. Without AI, it is almost impossible to forecast buyer behavior and use it to benefit the business. By relying on buyer data and historical actions, B2B vendors can tailor product offerings that fit the needs of its buyers anytime. AI further helps by creating more relevant messaging and more accurate published product content on every channel.

/         Simplify data analysis. Analyzing product data to gather insight can be error-prone and difficult. Incorrect or inconsistent product data causes confusion within and outside the organization. AI helps solve complex problems over short periods of time, thus enhancing data analyses as well as helping to store and retrieve product information efficiently.

/         Measure product performances. Analyzing and measuring past product performance from a campaign or promotion is necessary for B2B vendors. AI helps businesses gauge how products perform in the market for a period of time and measures it against historical benchmarks to guide the decision-making processes and create recommendations.

/         Improve the buying process. Searching an entire catalog for a single product is taxing and time consuming for B2B buyers, especially if the need is urgent. AI can be used to provide buyers with efficient and easy ways to look for the products they need at any given time. Faceted search, text-to-speech and image recognition are some of the tools that can be utilized to improve on the search functionality of a system. Removing obstacles to the buying process means better experience for the buyers and faster conversion for the business.

B2B businesses that embrace AI has started to become the norm, and it is no longer just for big businesses either. Small and medium-sized companies can take advantage of its benefits thanks to the widespread use of the cloud.

Learn about some more B2B trends by checking out 5 takeaways from the B2B Marketing Expo – California.

Conversations with Contentserv: Priint

Conversations with Contentserv

In this episode of “Conversations with Contentserv,” we speak with Jonathan Dropiewski, CEO for the Americas for Priint – a leading multichannel publishing platform for product communication.

We discuss how Priint is adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of responsible leadership, digital transformation and how they are supporting and enabling customers in their mission critical work. We also discuss new and innovative ways of communicating with prospects, customers, employees and partners during this difficult time. Jonathan also talks about working from home as an accepted, practical practice today and what the future might look like five years from now.