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Managing the long tail of the supply chain
Posted on Monday, 20 July 2015

Business and Tech magazine Consumer Goods Technology (CGT) hosted a web seminar on long tail demand entitled “Driving Results Despite Item Complexity”. Lora Cecere, founder of Supply Chain Insights, conducted a survey to find out what are the top drivers of supply chain risk for manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers/distributors/logistic providers. Her survey results show that demand volatility is the area of the largest pain and an area of consistent high risk for most companies.


Item proliferation, shortened product life spans and omni-channel sales have caused companies to struggle with increased demand volatility and long tail demand – items that aren’t so predictable and don’t have high volumes, but are still important to the business. The problem is that supply chains designed in the 1990s haven’t kept up with this fundamental change in the business. They were designed for high product volumes and predictable demand. They have been managed by deterministic optimization and rules-based consumption techniques.

“In most businesses, the tail of the supply chain has grown and the design of the systems and the design of the supply chain have not kept up with the growth of the long tail of item complexity,” Lora says.

To read more about long tail demand and how to manage it, read the complete article here.

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