Supply chain operations in Brazil, which have felt the impact of the major political and economic turmoil in the country, could start to see significant improvements over the next few years, largely due to the recent arrivals of major retailers such as Amazon. This is according to management and supply chain consultancy Crimson & Co, which states that the aggressive expansion strategies of global retailers are forcing local firms to think smarter.
In practice, this accounts for not only how products and materials are moved throughout their business but also helping firms to understand how an effective supply chain can contribute towards shaping the long-term focus and direction of the business. Richard Gurney, Crimson & Co’s General Manager for Latin America commented: “Increasingly, we are seeing more and more multi-national retailers, such as Amazon, investing heavily into the region, driven by expectations to replicate the same successes as seen in the likes of North America and Europe. In turn this has acted as a massive wake-up call for how businesses locally manage their supply chain and logistics.”
Gurney continued: “What makes Amazon stand apart from all its competitors is its ability to innovate. Critically, it grasped the importance of speedy shipping earlier than many rivals and invested accordingly within its infrastructure and technology to make this happen. If you consider Brazil, the sheer size and its far-flung population means its ability to transport products across the country has always meant challenges, but Amazon has not been deterred, and critically, it has installed the necessary infrastructure by working with partners locally to improve distribution channels and better the speed of service for customers.
Because of this, other retailers have been forced to take action. “We are starting to see organisation’s employ designated supply chain and operations teams to improve how products reach customers quicker and more efficiently,” said Gurney. “Additionally, we are also seeing greater investment into training and learning mechanisms to improve the quality of supply chain personnel. This has massively improved the competitive retail landscape within the region. Firms are now much leaner and agile to market changes and as more and more retailers come into the region we only expect this to improve further, as firms start to recognise the significant benefits which can be gleamed from a fully optimised supply chain.”