Digital Transformation: The New Era of Supply Chain Management

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There’s help for Chief Supply Chain Officers (CSCOs) who want to get past the hurdles of traditional supply chain management software. No longer are supply chains confined to logistics, resource management, and optimization. Following are a few ways digital transformation (DX) will help with supply chains, as well as some trends to watch for.

Introducing digital transformation in Supply Chain Management

Digitalization isn’t new, but it’s now a priority for CSCOs and CIOs. In a Capgemini survey, 50 percent of respondents thought digital transformation was important, but only 5 percent were satisfied with their overall progress. While companies want to make changes to their retail supply chain software or supply chain planning software and introduce digital transformation, they might be reluctant to change existing systems.

Through digital transformation, supply chains can improve efficiencies, revenue growth, and customer experiences. Businesses should speak to their supply chain software company representatives or supply chain software vendors about strategies that include digital transformation. Supply chain strategies should incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) for accurate reporting and for decision-making that’s contextually sensitive and situationally aware.

Need help with SCM software? Supply chain software companies such as Vanguard Software can provide assistance with inventory optimization software, demand planning software, demand forecasting software, and supply chain digital transformation.

Benefits to Digitizing Supply Chain Management

Forbes suggests businesses adopt digital tools to address volatility in supply and demand. By digitizing supply chains, they can be more visible and offer increased collaboration with stakeholders.
CSCOs can achieve this by:

  • Introducing innovative technologies to maximize data flows
  • Finding cost-savings and efficient functions
  • Utilizing analytics through supply chain digitization that includes department-wide customer-centricity to ensure fluidity
  • Incorporating long-term growth strategies to digitization
  • Following trends in Digital Supply Chain Management

GT Nexus’s Digital Transformation Report found that over 75 percent of respondents believe digital transportation is important, with 70 percent already implementing digital changes. Digital transformation has several long-term benefits that help improve how systems and models run, which is top of mind for many CSCOs.

Companies can expect to see several emerging digital supply chain trends that feature smart technology, machine learning, and artificial intelligence:

  • Automated warehouses: Mobile robotics rely on smart automated guided vehicles (AGVs). Warehouses that use robotics can minimize labor requirements, as mobile robotics/AGVs will pull inventory, drive lift trucks, and allow for quick installations and reconfigurations.
  • Predictive analytics, smart roads, and IoT: Predictive analytics offer rich data streams that help with scheduling, deliveries, and real-time insights. As smart vehicle sensors become more dominant, sensors in roadways will help create smart roads that decipher weather conditions and traffic congestion.
  • The merger of app processes and IoTs: Software vendors will leverage sensor data in applications like transportation management systems (TMS) to merge app processes with IoT data for more features in supply chain activities.
  • Scenario-based planning: IoT assists with asset locations by using sensors, telematics, and geopositioning signals to offer more scenario-based contingency planning. The analytics draw data from multiple sources for scenario planning that’s faster than human planning.

Bottom line

CSCOs who haven’t integrated digital technologies into their supply chains will need to do so now to enhance decision-making, ensure continuous growth, and improve efficiencies. It’s a bold step that companies need to take toward a broader digital enterprise, but one that businesses must employ to offer smart automation and connected information without lagging behind. The digital supply chain that CSCOs embrace now will create new opportunities for business and revenue models.