The Digital Supply Chain (Part 1)

August 21, 2018 Rishal Balkissoon

digital supply chainWhen it comes to harnessing the power of technology, not all business functions have been treated with equal priority. In fact, research shows that despite the clear benefits of digitization across all business dimensions, one function in particular has fallen behind: supply chain management. Let’s explore some of the challenges…

Lack of Investment

Understandably, for many companies, the focus has been on the digitization of marketing efforts, distribution channels, products and services. This has been the competitive trend. However, as markets evolve in response to consumer demand, industry is coming under increasing pressure to prioritize supply chain digitization as a means to improving delivery while remaining competitive.

Compartmentalized Planning and Implementation of Digital Strategies

Ad hoc, “band-aid” and standalone solutions result in data isolation, inefficiencies and potential integration issues. Where data cannot flow, the need for manual intervention creates unnecessary risk and delays.

Industry leaders have proved that successful digital strategies are comprehensive in nature, incorporating several critical areas such as organizational structure, systems, operations, processes and assets. Apart from streamlining day-to-day operations and reducing risk, centralizing your business intelligence provides for better informed and more effective decision making.

Traditional Thinking is Putting Businesses at Risk

Digital disparity between business functions may be partly attributed to disproportionate advancements in technology. ERP solutions are considered to be relatively new, as far as business technologies go. Additionally, digitization of the supply chain is a complex undertaking that requires business-wide integration. It’s a big decision, and with the technology still regarded as “young”, many have opted to wait before making the move.

However, early adopters of supply chain digitization technologies are reaping significant rewards, with savings in cost, time and resources, alongside a reduced environmental footprint. As a result, the more cautious are being left behind, for what might previously have been considered low risk, judicious decision making.

We have entered Industry 4.0 – the fourth industrial revolution. The business technology landscape is changing fast, and we need to change our thinking accordingly. How are you changing yours?

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