TechTarget says the foundation of the digital supply chain “is built on Web-enabled capabilities,” as opposed to the industry’s more-common model that functions with a mix of paper-based and IT-enabled tools and processes. In “The Essential Guide to Supply Chain Management Best Practices,” TechTarget says that “true digital supply chain goes far beyond this hybrid model to fully capitalize on connectivity, system integration and the information-producing capabilities of ‘smart’ components.”
That raises questions: How can you know if your digital supply chain is smart enough? And how can you make it smarter?
Numerous reports from supply chain analysts say that one-third of the industry has begun to digitize their supply chains. Within the next five years, the rest are expected to see digitization transforming their operations.
These major enterprises aren’t making huge investments in transparency, technology, integrated systems and other elements of the smart logistics ecosystem for no reason. They are digitizing because the competitive environment demands the use of business models that are responsive, resilient, predictive, transparent, efficient and agile – not just within individual functional areas but all across the entire organization, from R&D and product development to supplier and customer interactions to business analysis and strategic management.
The rewards of the smart digital supply chain are plentiful:
- Dynamic product design
- Faster time to market
- Lower production and distribution costs
- Greater efficiency and productivity
- Less waste of time and resources
- Revenue-focused decision-making
- Reduced environmental impact
- Sustainable growth
- Informed strategic direction
So what makes a supply chain smart? Is it Big Data, handheld readers, cloud computing, social media, autonomous robotics, IoT, artificial intelligence, blockchain technologies, product sensors...
Well, yes. No. Maybe.
There is really no off-the-shelf solution. The key is implementing the appropriate digital technologies, correctly and seamlessly integrating whenever possible, to produce the business intelligence you need to make strategic decisions. The specifics of the ideal digital supply chain strategy should be driven by the type, size, scope, reach and complexity of your market and your operation.
So how do you become smarter? Experience is one of the best teachers, and that’s why engaging a strategic supply chain partner can be one of your smartest moves. A trusted advisor with deep supply chain expertise can bring insight and innovation to your digitization strategy, helping you avoid mistakes, saving you time and money, and ensuring optimum outcomes.
With deep industry expertise and a comprehensive supply chain technology stack, Transportation Insight helps businesses enter the age of the Digital Supply Chain. Sophisticated business intelligence tools and superior analytical expertise move clients toward a competitive advantage through increased efficiencies, streamlined operations and greater profits. Transportation Insight identifies areas of improvement throughout organizations to make better use of resources and digital assets that lead to improved enterprise efficiency and customer service excellence.