From the moment it originally opened its doors until now, one thing about JD.com has remained the same: it is singularly dedicated to offering customers the best online shopping experience that they are likely to have, no matter what. This commitment to excellence, along with a level of care and attention-to-detail that is second-to-none, have allowed it to become the largest overall retailer in all of China. It has also risen to the ranks of the Fortune Global 500, among other distinctions.
Now, it has another esteemed recognition that it can add to its already impressive list. JD.com was recently selected as a finalist for the Process or Technology Innovation of the Year award by the experts at Gartner Power of the Profession Supply Chain Awards for 2023. This is an honor that is important for a wide range of different reasons, all of which are worth exploring.
The Impact of Richard Liu and JD.com
For those unfamiliar, the Process or Technology Innovation of the Year distinction by Gartner Power of the Profession Supply Chain Awards is given out for explainable and intelligent forecasting technology. Other finalists in this category include but are not limited to major players like the Microsoft Corporation, MTN Group, and AB InBev, among others.
For JD.com founder Richard Liu, forecasting has always been an important part of what he and his team is able to accomplish on a daily basis. It’s pivotal in terms of supply chain planning, as it arms sales teams around the world with the actionable information they need to make better and more informed decisions all the time. It is especially critical to a company as large as JD.com, which currently has over 580 million active customers spread out all over the world.
Indeed, JD.com’s supply chain is as expansive as it is impressive. It currently manages over 10 million different SKUs per day across China alone. It is also regularly impacted by a number of different elements like promotions, marketing campaigns, national holidays, weather patterns that can often be unpredictable, and others.
When you’re dealing with as many potential obstacles at this scale, forecasting becomes essential because it brings together the benefits of explainable AI technology and innovative algorithms that provide visibility into a situation where such insight is at a premium. Thanks to this level of technology, forecasting has evolved to offer organizational leaders at JD.com a huge amount of information about what factors may be impacting upcoming events, and what they should do about it.
During a significant marketing campaign or promotion, for example, that forecasting technology can be objective about which sales are being driven by the promotion itself. At that point, business teams have the opportunity to better prepare their inventory both now and in the future. It also helps to shed light on which of their efforts are working and which ones may not be having the effect that was desired. At that point, organizational leaders are in a better position to double down on the former and get rid of the latter at their earliest opportunity.
For Richard Liu, this type of forecasting is no longer a recommendation for business teams everywhere – it’s practically a requirement. It’s less an asset and more of a trusted “assistant” – one that helps provide people with the actionable information they need to make future planning easier and more accurate. It can also improve the working efficiency of teams in the short-term, which is an excellent position for any business to be in.
To date, this type of technology has been directly applied to literally millions of SKUs for products on JD.com. As a direct result of it, the company’s turnover days were only 31.7 as of September 2022 – an industry-leading metric. Thankfully, this is one trend that shows absolutely no signs of slowing down anytime soon and it’s been a clear contributing factor to why JD.com has become a 2023 Finalist of the Gartner Power of the Profession Supply Chain Awards.
About Richard Liu
Richard Liu has been the chairman and chief executive officer of JD.com since he originally founded the company all the way back in 2004. Born and raised in Chang’an, just outside of Suqian, Mr. Liu always had high ambitions for himself. He applied to colleges in many large cities like Beijing and Shanghai and, thanks to his excellent educational track record up to that point, he was able to attend the renowned Renmin University.
It was there that he pursued a degree in sociology, while at the same time also teaching himself the finer points of computer programming. He began to pursue a wide range of entrepreneurial endeavors all throughout the 1990s, before eventually founding JD.com in the early 2000s.