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Digital Supply Chain Strategies

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Unchaining Change Leadership

Digital Supply Chain strategies article and permission to publish here provided by Alejandro Carrera.

The digital economy is bringing a paradigm shift in the business models across the world, thus blurring the industry boundaries. No matter the niche, the customer today expects both products and services to be delivered real quick and tailored to unique requirements.

Effective digital supply chain strategies can help organizations stand out from the crowd. It is then that companies can make themselves faster, granular, flexible and accurate.

According to a study conducted by McKinsey, most of the supply chains have digitization levels of around 40%. The same paper also credits supply chain digital transformation for massive business performance. Enterprises around the world have successfully mitigated risk, optimized costs and achieved significant growth. The low adoption digitization in supply chains can be attributed to technology gaps and management choices.

A survey by Gartner confirms the context. The survey found that over 75% of supply chain management had concerns with the governance of digitization. Companies often downtrend digital technology investments and only tend to focus on improving existing operations. Today, we will talk about out of the box digital supply chain management strategies that the companies can adapt for good in this digital era.

Blockchain

When it comes to provenance tracking, establishing trust and reducing costs, Blockchain is emerging as the backbone of digital supply chains. Large enterprises have complex supply chains. They often face challenges which have implications on speed, quality, cost and other factors. Blockchain saves the day by bringing in more transparency. 

Blockchain-enabled supply chains have better record-keeping and real-time product tracking. Moreover, in the arena of complex supply chains, there is an involvement of multiple participants. Blockchain helps in developing trust within the supply chain and enables smooth operation. Starting from the manufacturer, supplier to the distributor, companies can streamline operations with a digital supply chain.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

With the advent of 2021, AI unveils new avenues for revolutionizing SCM across automation, planning, logistics, inventory, fleet & freight. According to research by CISION, by 2024, AI-led SCM market will reach $1.3 Billion. From automating processes, generating higher visibility to garnering real-time insights, AI has become a tool that supply chain leaders can’t just ignore.

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Through Artificial Intelligence, companies can unlock their access to enhanced risk mitigation. AI helps to gather, analyze large data sets, continuously check for evolving patterns and predict disruptive events all along. In case of any disruption, supply chain giants can leverage AI-led resolutions on the spot. Thus, AI has the potential to draw an impact across the supply chain.

Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things backed by Blockchain and AI continues to revolutionize supply chain management. Gone are the days when it was a cumbersome task to locate where the goods are. Today, you can authenticate the location of goods anytime, track speed of movement, streamline movements through contingency planning and much more.

Apart from asset tracking, Internet of Things has led to several other operational efficiencies such as improved vendor relations, forecasting, connected fleets and inventory across the supply chain. Manufacturers are leveraging IoT enabled sensors to gain critical insights and ensure quality control, product forecasting and on-time deliveries.

Immersive Technologies

Technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) & Mixed Reality (MR) are creating an immersive experience in the supply chain. Immersive technologies encourage fewer processes, faster product design time, training efficacy, visualization of complex data and reduced operational problems. For example, through immersive tech, warehouse workers can do their jobs better.

Workers can pick, fulfil orders seamlessly through smart glasses and watch apps since the tech automatically scans the barcodes. Immersive technology enables a hands-free, virtual environment for equipment and machinery. As per Gartner, immersive tech is maturing quickly and is an emerging trend in the supply chain.

Supply Chain as a Service (ScaaS)

With many companies managing their supply chain activities in-house, there is a significant rise in businesses adopting the Supply Chain as a Service (ScaaS) model. We may see more companies outsourcing activities like inventory management, logistics and supply chain management, as a whole. SCM teams may evolve to become smaller and thus making control towers more prevalent. 

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Supply networks become more complex, fluid and dispersed with every passing day. Today, supply chain management has become less of a business competency, but more of a segment that needs reform. Companies need a more sustainable and effective way when it comes to managing their supply and demand networks. This is where ScaaS pitches in and offers its unique value proposition.

Digital Supply Chain Strategies

Digitizing the supply chain brings a plethora of business and technical capabilities aboard. Businesses can leverage better decision making through Machine Learning, highly automated supply-chain tasks, ensure end-to-end customer engagement and collaborate efficiently with customers and suppliers.

The first step towards a digital transformation starts with a Digital Supply Chain strategies road map. You can enjoy captivating PowerPoint templates from SlideModel to craft an engaging and information-rich road map looking at several years ahead. A forward-looking concept for future supply chain can do wonders for businesses of all scales.

Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on January 7, 2021.

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