"Most customers used to manage the supply chain in terms of what happened in the past," Johnson said. "Today we're relying on real-time signals to tell us what the real demand is. Most of the leading companies are trying to do same-day changes to production, sometimes even adjusting hourly."
New visualization tools, meanwhile, are bringing the dynamics of the supply chain to life, he added.
Historically, any time a company faced a shipment problem, "it would say, 'let's build up more inventory,'" FusionOps' Meyers said. "That costs money, and it really hurts."
Today, it's not just consumers but also enterprises that expect Amazon levels of reliability, he added.
"Your supply chain is not just a competitive weapon," Meyers said. "It's table stakes for competing at all."
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