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PARIS -- The evolution of the value chain will be driven increasingly by a convergence of external forces that can only be addressed collaboratively by the members of that supply chain. That was the conclusion of six months of discussions among manufacturers, retailers, logistics and technology companies, and academics, culminating in the report, "2016: The Future Value Chain, " developed by the Global Commerce Initiative.
According to the report, traditional industry trends in information flow, logistics, consumer behavior, and demographics will be more and more affected by major issues of ecology, new technologies, the regulatory environment, and shifts in the global economy.
"The goal of this joint effort was to provide a realistic view of 2016, rather than an 'anything goes' futuristic scenario, and a way to bridge from today to tomorrow," said GCI co-chairman and chairman of the Carrefour management board Jose Luis Duran in a statement. "It is especially clear that collaboration between all parties in the value chain will be essential in order to better serve the needs of the consumer, efficiently and effectively. The successful collaborative activities carried out by GCI and its member companies through this work are only the beginning, and will be vital as we move toward realizing our future vision."
"The consumer is boss and at the center of everything we do," said GCI co-chairman and P&G chairman, president, and c.e.o. A.G. Lafley. "Consumers have virtually unlimited choice and ever-rising expectations for performance, quality, and value. They expect more from their shopping experiences and more from the brands and products they buy and use every day. They expect retailers and manufacturers to listen to them more carefully, and to learn from them more often. Meeting these expectations requires fundamental changes to the way we work as an industry, which is at the heart of GCI's mission and is the focus of this report."
The report advises the industry to address three interconnected challenges: finding new ways of working together, including sustainable changes in culture, collaborative business planning, and new measures and rewards; sharing information more readily; and redefining the future value chain and effectively dealing with the impact on the physical flow of goods of changing energy costs, shifts in population density, and other external forces.
Peter Jordan, director international B2B strategy, Kraft Foods, and Ruud van der Pluijm, v.p. B2B eCommerce, Royal Ahold co-chaired the study's working group. "We are faced with the challenge of thinking of our business as part of an increasingly integrated value chain while maintaining the essential commercial principles of fierce competition," observed Jordan. "We can only do this by changing our cultures internally and rethinking the sustainability of the relationships that bind us," added Ruud van der Pluijm. "This will affect the development of our organisations and the rewards we use to identify new measures of performance. At the heart of the vision for 2016 is a fundamental principle of collaborative commercial trust."
Published by GCI and consulting, technology, and outsourcing provider Capgemini with the support of Intel, the study involved the input of Carrefour, Coca-Cola, Dairy Farm, DHL, Kraft Foods, METRO Group, Nestle, Philips, Pick 'n Pay, Procter & Gamble, Royal Ahold, Unilever, Wal-Mart, GCI, Lean Enterprise Academy, Intel, and Capgemini.