9 July 2014 | David Maund
As the 2014 FIFA World Cup semi-finals kick off, it’s estimated hundreds of millions of people are tuning in to watch the games in Brazil, making the tournament the most watched sports event in the world, with even more viewers than the Olympic Games.
Of course, making the trip to Brazil is quite a stretch for most, so the majority of football fans are viewing the games from home. As a result, producers and distributors of high-definition (HD) TV screens experience a surge in demand for their sets.
Responding to this demand is a challenge. From a business standpoint, the key questions arising from this surge are: Where geographically will it take place? And how sustainable is it? Can the manufacturers respond quickly to this demand spike?
HD TV businesses to some extent attempt to predict shifts in consumer demand for their devices based on who’s winning and who’s going home, as well as based on the wealth of a country and the penetration of provider connectivity.
But beyond determining how many HD TVs customers are truly willing to buy, businesses are faced with another layer of complexity: What would happen if they were to produce more HD TV sets to account for the spike, only to see the country they are selling the most devices in get eliminated from the competition? How can they hedge against this scenario to avoid the glut?
In light of the number of variables dictating demand, it’s essential that retailers, distributors, brand owners, HD TV producers and component manufacturers are aligned and give some serious consideration to the impact World Cup games can have on their supply chain’s management and find ways to flexibly weather any of the negative consequences to their businesses resulting from the spike in demand during the tournament.
The answer lies in collaborative planning and execution: a leading-edge competency that enables brand owners and manufacturers to leverage the collective brainpower of their trading partner communities to efficiently manage end-to-end supply chain processes and respond intelligently to continuous change in supply, demand, products, and partners. Collaborative planning and execution is what traditional supply chain management can never be.
With the final match of the championship being watched by a combined global viewership of nearly 700 million people – almost a ninth of the world’s population – businesses would be wise to adopt it.
☛ David Maund is vice president of Professional Services EMEA at E2open