Digital Transformation in the Supply Chain
Since any successful business is made up of distinct processes and activities — such as those involved in supply chain management — the promises and potential gains of digital transformation (DT) offer a truly exciting opportunity for any progressive organization. To understand digital transformation in the supply chain, it’s helpful to first define DT, including the comprehensive changes, innovations and efficiencies that result from fully leveraging digital technology across strategic processes.
How Does Digital Transformation Affect Supply Chain Operations?
For businesses and decision makers, DT is a hot topic. In fact, it’s so popular that a recent Google search on “digital transformation” yielded 230 million possible results! Yet despite potential improvements to performance, supply chain operations’ digital transformations seem to be somewhat lagging. A recent study revealed that, on average, supply chains have only reached 43 percent digitization levels. And what’s even more telling is that only two percent of executives report that their supply chains are the focus of their DT efforts.
This is surprising, since businesses that have taken a more aggressive approach to their supply chain digitization have seen greater revenue growth when compared to any other business area where digitization was applied. Of course, leveraging DT to properly support your supply chain operations is more than a simple out-of-the-box technical solution. But, clearly, when deployed and managed properly, it’s a transformation that can produce valuable results company-wide.
How to Leverage Digital Transformation in Your Supply Chain Operations
Traditionally, supply chain management has been a rather linear process that looked at sequential steps individually, from development and planning through sourcing and manufacturing. However, with the interconnected and multi-directional capabilities of a fully digitized supply network, all your operations become more flexible, responsive and, ultimately, optimized.
In order to successfully leverage digital transformation supply chain improvements, it’s beneficial to consider the following questions:
- How will technology support better decisions? As a result of collecting more data and making it accessible throughout every step of the supply chain process, demonstrating how managers can make better decisions can both support worker engagement for DT and overall profitability for the company.
- How will talent development be addressed? Unlike previous linear processes, the potential improvements for smart supply chains, factories and businesses are great — but so are some of the new challenges supply chain managers will face. Making sure you have the right skills by developing and supporting in-house talent, hiring specialists and constantly identifying talent gaps will go a long way toward ensuring your DT’s implementation is successful.
- How will supply chain automation engage customers? The outward-facing potential of supply chain automation to connect customers with their orders through digital innovations such as real-time updates and tracking features is a promising avenue for collecting large amounts of data on the life cycle of your product(s) and your customers’ purchasing preferences. This results in a more engaged customer base and a resilient supply chain that meets its business objectives with ever-more focus and efficiency.
Consolidated Technologies, Inc. for Cutting-Edge DT Solutions
At Consolidated Technologies, Inc., we possess more than 20 years of experience helping small to mid-size businesses find IT solutions that work — and we can do the same for your supply chain operations. Fill out our contact form or call 1-888-477-4284 today.