Digital Transformation in present-day Supply Chains

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Digital transformation

According to a survey conducted by Gartner, “91% of businesses are engaged in some form of digital initiative”, whereas “87% of senior business leaders say digitalization is a priority”. That being said, the digital transformation of businesses is experiencing an all-time high. This is because all industries and markets are realizing the untapped potential of digitization and digital transformation along with the fact that the pandemic has only boosted this trend.

The Covid pandemic has had a disastrous effect on most if not all, industries. One such industry, which took a serious hit, was the supply chains industry. However, it is soon recovering and reinventing itself by undergoing much-required digital transformation. The global digital supply chain market is expected to be valued at $8.5 billion, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.5%.

Supply chain industries all over the world are changing their perspective and switching from traditional supply chains. Supply chain management companies are digitizing their workflows and have recently realized the benefits of the same. Before we delve into its advantages, let us first study what digital transformation is and how it can help reinvent supply chain management.

What is Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation in the supply chain is the integration of digital technologies into all multitudes of supply chain management, from sourcing and procurement through production, delivery, and customer support. The objective is to lower costs and risks while improving efficiency, agility, and responsiveness. With the help of technologies like embedded sensors, GPS, and RFID have helped companies transform their existing traditional (a mix of paper-based and IT-supported processes) supply chain structures into more agile, flexible, open, and collaborative digital models.

Digital transformation ensures flexibility throughout the hierarchy of an organization and provides automation to mundane tasks while saving time and resources for that organization. Let’s have a look in detail at how digitally transforming workflows can work wonders for any organization.

Supply chain digital transformation and how can it help organizations

More and more businesses are utilizing digital technology and data to optimize and simplify the whole supply chain, from sourcing and procurement through production, shipping, and customer support. Here are a few ways that organizations can benefit from the digital transformation of their supply chains-

Efficiency gains

Digital transformation helps automate repetitive procedures, minimize manual labor, and simplify supply chain operations. This often results in shorter lead times, reduced operational expenses, and increased output.

Greater visibility

With the help of digital supply chains, businesses can detect bottlenecks, hazards, and opportunities for improvement by using real-time tracking, monitoring, and analytics to give greater insight into supply chain processes.

Enhanced agility

Digital supply chains help easily adjust demand, supply, and market circumstances. To fulfill client requirements and take advantage of new possibilities, businesses can easily modify their planning, inventory levels, and logistics.

Better communication

Digital technologies make it easier for suppliers, manufacturers, and distributors involved in the supply chain. This boosts trust, increases accuracy, and improves communication.

Superior decision-making

Digital transformation provides businesses access to superior data analytics, allowing them to make more knowledgeable choices regarding logistics, production planning, and inventory management.

Better customer experience

Organizations using digital technology give consumers more individualized services, quicker deliveries, and improved supply chain insight.

Enhanced profitability and decreased expenses

Digital transformation can assist businesses in reducing the costs of logistics, transportation, and inventory management. It does so by optimizing delivery routes, real-time visibility of the goods, better data sharing, and much more.,

Digital Supply chains are also user-friendly and reliable compared to traditional supply chains. Users prefer digital supply chains for its ease of use, accessibility, and tracking functions along with the transparency it provides.

Challenges of Digital Supply Chains

Inspite of its many revolutionary features, businesses must also be aware of the challenges of digital Supply chains. Here are a few to keep in mind:

Data quality and integration

Ensuring the correctness and consistency of data across many systems and platforms is one of the major problems in digital supply chains. Organizations must create clear data governance standards, spend money on data integration technologies, and periodically check the integrity of their data in order to address this issue.

Cybersecurity and data privacy

Organizations must make sure that their systems and data are safe from cyber-attacks and adhere to any data privacy requirements as more data is exchanged across the supply chain. Strong cybersecurity measures, including firewalls, encryption, and access restrictions, as well as regular security audits, can help achieve this.

Talent scarcity and skills gap

Digital supply chains need new knowledge and abilities, like blockchain, machine learning, and data analytics. Also, there is an acute shortage of technical talent who have the required skills to upgrade businesses with digital transformation.

Steps for Digitally Transforming your Supply Chain

  • Identify Project Goals: The first stage should specify the project’s goals for digital transformation. This entails determining the supply chain segments that will be affected, the targeted objectives and goals, and the metrics that will be employed to gauge performance.
  • Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate: The following phase is to evaluate the supply chain’s present condition, taking into account the technology, procedures, and data that are already in place. This locates the areas for development as well as the gaps and inefficiencies that require attention.
  • Get the Right Technology: The next phase is to determine the technologies and solutions that will be needed to accomplish the intended outcomes. This is done based on the objectives and assessment of the present condition.
  • Hire the Right Developers: Once this has been accomplished, Get in experts and hire developers to develop your digital solutions. It is important to find the right development company best suited for the business. One who can understand project requirements and deliver in the shortest time possible.

Latest Technological Trends in Digital Transformation of Supply Chains

1. IoT or Internet of Things

As businesses continue to invest in reinventing supply chain strategies, IoT is one technology that has attracted investors from across the world. IoT has been proven to be an asset for companies. This is because IoT devices, when integrated with supply chains, can track the location, temperature, and even condition of goods in transit. This technology can provide real-time data and optimize supply chain processes along the way.

2. Blockchain technology

This technology employs a decentralized system to securely, openly, and immutably record transactions between two parties. Utilizing blockchain technology, it is possible to monitor and control the flow of resources and commodities across the supply chain.

3. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

AI and ML systems are capable of analyzing enormous volumes of data and producing insights that can be utilized to improve supply chain operations. Utilizing this technology, companies can estimate inventory levels, predict demand, and improve delivery routes.

4. Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing is yet another global trend catching like wildfire amongst developers. It has further boosted the digitization of supply chains. Cloud computing is a technology with which software, data, and storage are exchanged via the Internet. Cloud computing delivers various unique features such as better accessibility, lesser infrastructure costs, and low maintenance.

5. eCommerce Integration

Integrating digitized supply chains in e-commerce is another interesting avenue that is delivering high returns. B2B sellers in the e-commerce market segment prefer digitized supply chains for their superiority over traditional supply chain models. From interconnected and real-time updated supply chains to much better customer experiences, businesses are cashing in on the various benefits of digitally transformed supply chains.

Digital Supply chains incorporating these technologies have proven to be a game-changer and are slowly transforming the way we do business

Tips for successful digital transformation of supply chain management

Here are a few tips which can successfully transform your supply chain:

  • Vision: Have a clear strategy and evaluation of existing supply chain obstacles
  • Technology: Choose the right technology, best suited for your business
  • Build Smart chain with data analytics: Use data analytics to make informed decisions about supply chain operations
  • Collaboration is key to the success of digital transformation in supply chain management. Developing partnerships with suppliers, customers, and technology providers can help optimize the supply chain by leaps and bounds.
  • Revisit Product: Make the process iterative, i.e. keep evaluating and use technologies as per requirements. It is important to evolve with the markets.
  • Bring together Processes: It has proven to be efficient when businesses ensure end-to-end visibility in their supply chains.

Conclusion

Digital Transformation is the need of the hour. The sooner businesses realize this the better. Since supply changes are one of the most integral parts of running a business, transformation is extremely important. With the variety of benefits, digital transformation brings to the table, the growth of that company is guaranteed.

There are many software development service providers who can help alleviate a business by providing digital solutions. A business looking to transform its work processes must find the right development firm for its project, one with a rich portfolio of successful projects and quality solutions. OpenXcell is one such company capable of delivering quality solutions. Hiring developers with OpenXcell is as easy as it gets. With expert developers capable of working for different time zones, all business requirements are taken care of.

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author
Samragyi Chamoli
AUTHOR

Zealous, enthusiastic, and consistent, Samragyi is an ardent reader and an experienced writer. She loves animals and adventure.

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