It is predicted that supply chains will change dramatically over the next ten years. Today supply chains are a succession of discrete, siloed steps including marketing, product development, manufacturing, distribution, and ultimately customers. Digitation will completely change the game by creating a completely integrated ecosystem offering total transparency to all stakeholders.
So, what is Supply Chain Digitization? Supply chain digitization is the entirely integrated arrangement of planning and production solutions that work together seamlessly to create a more transparent supply stream across each touch point of the chain. This results in a more responsive, flexible, and transparent supply network that can easily adapt to several unknown variables such as inventory shortages or overages, changes to orders, and availability of resources. This digitized supply chain not only increases efficiencies but also leads to an enhanced client experience and revenue growth. Here are a few more of its specific benefits.
Benefit #1: Data Retention and Security
Digital supply chain collects data on all interactions in the supply chain and stores them for future reference. This information not only saves times and money but can also be analyzed to uncover the strengths and weaknesses of your company and supplier relationships. It can show you where you have hold-ups in the system and correct them. They also keep your financial information much more secure than hard copies, which can be accessed (and lost) easily.
Benefit #2: Reduces Carbon Footprint
Not only will you save money on paper, but you will also be doing Mother Earth a solid as well. Move more corporate systems online and further reduce your carbon footprint. Trends in the industry are showing renewable, sustainable resources (called circular economy) are becoming increasingly more important in business. Clients can feel good about your company’s stance on the environment.
Benefit #3: Improved Collaboration
Digitizing the supply chain is one of the critical ways companies can move toward eliminating communication silos across an organization. This means all the major players in the supply chain will be better able to share data, collaborate, and work in conjunction with each other. This enhanced collaboration will greatly reduce bottlenecks, disruptions, and breakdowns. Everything is also done in real-time, so those within the supply chain can access data and communicate results without a wait.
Need another reason to consider digitization? Nearly all the plants surveyed in ARC’s Q4 2016 Digital Transformation Strategy said that digital transformation is critical to success. More than half of manufacturers say they either are digitizing or are taking steps to digitize in the very near future. Smart manufacturers and logistics providers understand that with the Internet of Things (IoT) and the “Amazon Effect” taking hold of e-commerce, supply chain digitization will keep them competitive.