If your supply chain digitalization is on auto pilot this year, here are five ways to rev it back up and start realizing the many rewards of digital transformation.
Supply chain digitalization isn’t a “set it and forget it” exercise that can be undertaken once and then put on the shelf for the next 5-10 years. For best results, companies should view digitalization— the use of digital technologies to change a business model and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities—through the lens of continuous improvement.
Here are five ways to reenergize your current supply chain digitalization strategy and ensure that it continually delivers the highest level of value for your organization:
- Kick if off by getting everyone on the same page. According to the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM), successful transformation requires a company’s leadership team to develop a shared understanding of what a digital supply chain looks like. “Everyone in the organization needs to understand how digital supply chains are different from traditional supply chains,” ASCM advises. “Digitalization involves transforming processes to build insights, not just automating them for efficiency. A common vision and understanding allows everyone to move in the same direction as they proceed through the digitalization journey.”
- Then, get introspective and honest about your current situation. What capabilities, tools and software will you need to achieve your new digital transformation goals? If your current legacy systems don’t support your goals, for example, identify which digital, cloud-based or other options will help you achieve those targets. A Global Supply Chain Visibility Control Tower, for example, will provide complete end-to-end visibility across your digital supply chain, improve collaboration across the network and streamline functions like demand planning, inventory management and forecasting.
- Avoid “jumping ahead” to the next, new shiny object. The leadership team should develop a maturity model, identifying the critical stages of digitalization for their organization, ASCM advises. Firms need to build on each stage of the maturity model, which conveys a natural progression companies need to follow. “Companies cannot jump from stage to stage, but need to build their digitalization skills as they move through the stages in various functional and regional divisions of the overall supply chain,” the organization adds.
- Pursue digital initiatives that drive quick business growth. Any digital investment that helps the organization return to revenue growth will be approved quickly and efficiently, according to Gartner. “Revisit your supply chain operating model to support new digital business models, such as e-commerce, and digitally enabled products, such as subscription-based and pay-as-you-go options,” it says. For example, artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced analytics are among the technologies that may significantly impact business growth.
- Put the right technology tools in place. IntelliTrans’ solutions help companies unleash the power of supply chain transparency to improve customer service, reduce operational costs, and automate business processes. Its SaaS-based Control Tower empowers organizations to be nimble and efficient by providing global supply chain transparency. From real-time alerts to interactive data visualizations, organizations get the tools to ask deeper questions and deliver more impactful results. This, in turn, supports their ongoing digitalization strategies and goals.
The combination of technology, new business models and improved collaboration and insights, digital transformation accomplishes several goals and has become a key priority for multiple industries. The biggest advantage of a digital supply chain, for example, is that it provides people and processes with all the necessary information and data they need so that they can have true visibility of what is going on in the business and make better, faster decisions, Chief Executive reports.
“This applies not only to their business specifically, but also to their customers, suppliers, and suppliers’ suppliers’ businesses,” the publication adds. “This end-to-end supply chain visibility, enabled by digital transformation, will allow companies to provide better service and products to their customers, a better return for shareholders, and more sustainable success for all stakeholders.”