Where Is Your Weak Link In Product Management?
As the saying goes, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. That illustration loosely fits many different scenarios, but for product management, it’s perfect.
The chain that connects the lifecycle of a product from the past to the present and the future is full of links, details that can derail the process at any point. A catastrophic weather event, for example, can wipe out a factory that supplies a product. At the other end of the chain, that catastrophic weather event could affect store performance or raise the demand for certain supplies.
Weak Links Have Global Consequences
This Thompson Reuters article points out that the weakest link for a multinational organization is often hidden in a complex web of interrelationships spanning multiple jurisdictions. The weak links in these chains come to light through supply and price risk with physical supply disruption. But supplier and third-party risk are issues of transparency, monitoring, and compliance.
Two ways that weak links have been exposed are in the issues of conflict minerals and modern-day slavery. These may not be discussed in a product management meeting, but if one of your suppliers is accused of these practices your business will be examined in the public arena.
Transparency & Traceability
It’s better to stay on top of the details in every tier of your supply chain, down to the suppliers of your suppliers where possible. That way each link has its details visible for review in case of an issue.
Whatever these detailed links are in your supply chain, if those details are available in a comprehensive database they are accessible for analysis and action.
Every retailer strives to supply their customers with the products that will be in demand. Because each retailer has unique variables in product management, user definable attributes need to be part of their retail product management software. That way, you can monitor the entire chain and deal with weak links before they break.