Digitisation and Supply Chain Game-Changers

The goal of digitisation is the establishment of a highly intelligent, efficient supply chain ecosystem that demolishes silos, creates transparency, and enhances responsiveness. It ideals a digital environment that can be used to upgrade and streamline processes, eliminating the need for paperwork and face-to-face interaction (a significant benefit during these challenging times).

During the pandemic, countless supply chains have struggled globally with antiquated systems forcing countless businesses to accelerate digitisation.  Not all the current challenges are a result of COVID-19, rather the situation has bought in to sharper focus that which was already present.

Historically, digital initiatives in one form or another have not been given the correct level of priority. With the current upheaval, that is fast changing. Why is that? Detailed below are some of the factors which may explain what is driving this change:

Resiliency: While supply chain leaders have traditionally viewed digital transformation in the context of efficiency and cost, the focus is now on resilience. If businesses can trace the flow of information, they have better visibility through their supply chain and therefore are able to customise and flex their approach based on demand.

Supplier Relationship Management: Strong Supplier Relationship Management, with the aid of digital solutions, creates a level of relationship transparency and collaboration that allows buyers to assess, manage and react to risk with complete confidence.

‘Servitization’: Servitization refers to products and services based on a subscription-based model. It allows businesses to re-package their products in a way that remains attractive to its customers. This was a growing trend before the pandemic; however, it has pushed the industry towards this type of business model sooner than expected.

Agility: COVID-19 exposed numerous supply chain gaps and tested how agile the supply chain was. Digitisation is a key enabler of agility as it incorporates AI, Advanced Analytics, Big data, and similar technologies that support a more automated and transparent end-to-end supply chain.

COVID-19 has been far more challenging than previous economic or market shocks. It has impacted almost every part of the globe in a way once unimaginable. Businesses have had to find new ways to adapt to the immediate challenge, and supply chains will never be the same.

With so much to think about, will leaders within the sector be able to adapt to this new digital world, or will new skills and capabilities need to be developed to capitalise on the market opportunity?

We, at Norman Broadbent, are finding it is the latter. What was deemed digital 10 years ago is no longer relevant, and the talent landscape and dynamic has changed with it.  As technology advances at pace, supply chain leaders are hunting down game-changing, impactful digital supply chain experts.

If you would like to discuss this article further, learn more about The Norman Broadbent Group, or discuss specific people or organisational challenges, please do not hesitate to contact Ali Jafri via ali.jafri@normanbroadbent.com for an initial confidential discussion.