Digital technology is changing the world, one industry at a time. With these changes comes a reimagining of the supply chain, from the systems businesses use to communicate and interact, to the strategies they deploy to move goods around the world. Along the way, our expectations for speed, service, and quality go up, forever altered.
Digitalization gives rise to new business models, in which real-time connectivity, greater visibility, reactivity, and anticipation become the underlying characteristics of our supply chains. But this kind of change isn’t easy, and transformation doesn’t happen overnight. While many businesses have adopted technology to augment or enhance existing processes, they’ve still got a long journey ahead.
By taking a staged approach to digital transformation, and building greater connectivity across the supply chain, businesses can pave the way toward a fully-connected future, while still being able to tackle the biggest challenges they face right now.
Digital transformation, or the idea of it, isn’t new—but the reality is that, while the conversation around digital has been well-worn, the set of companies embarking down the digital path remains a mixed bag. Businesses and their supply chains must continually think about and adjust for this new world; today, most firms still remain at the early stages of this journey.
Businesses that embarked on the digital supply chain transformation journey ahead of their peers are already seeing results. The early adoption of transformative technology has helped “digital trendsetters” reduce their cost-to-serve by more than 6%, per Accenture.2 Digital transformation also led to improved customer satisfaction and, for some, a greater-than 6% increase in market share. In its survey of 400 senior supply chain executives, Accenture found that 63% of the leading companies expect digital technology to drive future revenue.
Although the journey to transformation doesn’t happen overnight, many of the pieces businesses need to embark on the journey already exist. Whether a business wants to improve front-end customer experience, financial relationships with trading partners, the ability to collaborate with suppliers, or the preparation of their systems for the fourth industrial revolution, the journey begins with a networked view of the supply chain ecosystem. True transformation depends on a solid foundation of visibility and trust–trust in your supply network and trust that you’ll be able to deliver goods whenever and wherever there’s demand.