Saturday, June 22, 2024

Preview: Supply Chain Management Australia 2017

The efficiency of Australia’s supply chain and logistics industry is vital to the nation’s productivity and economic wellbeing. Cost-efficient supply-chain and logistics operations allow Australian exporters to profitably reach key international markets, help Australian manufacturers to remain cost-competitive in the face of cheap imports, and enable firms within Australia to compete over a larger area, bringing lower prices and greater choice to consumers.

Supply Chain Management 2017 will bring together key stakeholders from the entire supply and logistics industry, all in the one place on November 15-17 in Sydney.

Coles National Supply Chain Loss Manager Shaun Toussaint is one of the experts speaking at the event. Retail World asked him to share a preview of his upcoming presentation.


What will you be speaking about at Supply Chain Management 2017?

I will be speaking about the importance of inventory accuracy in the supply chain, from a Coles perspective. Specifically, the causes and impacts of inaccuracy, measures to improve accuracy and the benefits that this can deliver to the customer, with some lessons learned from practical implementations.


Why is accountability and accuracy such as important issue for the grocery supply chain? Are there any challenges unique to this sector?

At Coles, accuracy is a key component in ensuring the correct amount of inventory is available to deliver customer value. Inaccurate inventory can lead to either availability issues or impacts to margin. Everyone in the supply chain is accountable for inventory accuracy. In a competitive FMCG environment, there are some inherent and obvious challenges around range and seasonal impacts.


How easy is it for things to go wrong when the right measures and processes aren’t in place? What are the potential repercussions?

The importance of getting the basics correct, such as training and standards, which underpin any process, often heavily influence the outcome. When the basics are not getting done, the process can easily become variable and, in supply chain, this can impact many other areas of the business, which ultimately can impact on delivering customer value. Without the appropriate measures, in most cases you will not be aware until it is too late.


How does Coles ensure accountability and accuracy in its supply chain?

At Coles, we employ a combination of training, standards and technology (barcoding) to ensure inventory accuracy. We exception-manage key measures (isolated or systemic), prioritise and investigate the causes behind these drivers of these measures with relevant stakeholders to develop sustainable solutions that can be replicated across the network to deliver improved customer value.


What is one key learning that you hope attendees will take away from your presentation?

While there are inherent FMCG challenges in supply chain, often outside your control, inventory accuracy is certainly within your control. Having accurate inventory improves decision making, provides flexibility and the ability to respond better to these inherent challenges. Inventory accuracy underpins the supply chain and often determines the outputs of other supply-chain functions, yet you won’t often find inventory accuracy measures in supply-chain dashboards/reporting.


Supply Chain Management Australia 2017 will be held at the Wesley Conference Centre, Sydney. For more information visit


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