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How To Quickly Move From An Analog To A Digitized Supply Chain

Given the constantly growing complexity of today’s global supply networks, supply chain change and transformation are unavoidable. 

Due to the “we can’t stop in the middle of a cycle” crucial nature of supply chain processes and applications, many firms are having difficulties adopting any changes to their supply chains in the face of this continuous influx of new information, client requirements, and technology.

These legitimate and rising worries frequently stymie business transformations and prevent companies from realizing their full supply chain potential. According to McKinsey, supply chain digitalization is at just 43% today, far behind automation adoption and use in operations, accounting, planning, and sales.

On their digital journey, supply chain leaders must be confident enough to admit they need assistance. This assistance might start with a review of current technologies before moving on to the adoption of new technologies to increase global logistics and supply chain transparency.

How is the digital supply chain different from the analog one?

Supply chains have usually developed in a predictable manner, beginning with the producer or supplier and ending with the ultimate client. As a result, the conventional analog supply chain is usually a linear “plan and control” method, limited by several unconnected planning cycles. It implies a stage-by-stage approach with minimal flexibility and insufficient transparency to the holistic needs throughout the supply chain.

Innovative technologies are pushing the existing paradigm in the digital ecosystem, changing how information travels within it, and contributing to attaining greater economic success. Data can now be disseminated in real-time throughout all process elements in the digital supply chain from a single hub.

How to digitize your supply chain?

Access current technology

The legacy system modernization process’s assessment step is critical. It will help you answer critical questions like what you want to achieve, how you want to do it, and how long and how much it will cost to modernize.

A business evaluation, as well as a technical evaluation, are essential to preparing for supply chain digitization. A business evaluation can shine light on any shortcomings in the IT system in terms of business operations. Meanwhile, the technical evaluation focuses on the source code, the applications’ stability, and the detection of redundancy.

Modernization

Migration, legacy system replacement, and total reengineering are the three main methods of system modernization. You can select the best choice based on the status of your present system and your current business requirements.

Total reengineering, also known as re-architecting, enables you to implement new technologies, platforms, and systems that are in line with your company’s aims and objectives. It helps businesses to create high-quality, user-friendly apps.

Data migration, which ensures business continuity, is at the heart of any legacy system modernization project. As a result, you must use extreme caution. It is necessary to have a smooth data transfer process from the old system to the modern platform. 

The most straightforward method is to move in small increments. It’s less intrusive and minimizes interference with business operations. Your team and clients will feel more at ease if data is moved gradually.

Integration

Supply chain integration, both internal and external, remains a common issue. The average business has 900 applications, and only 28% are integrated. When it comes to data integration in the supply chain, there are two primary integration technologies: APIs and EDI.

Although API creation and use are relatively young and technologically advanced, the industry still relies largely on hereditary EDI-based interactions. Despite the fact that both serve the same purpose of transferring data rapidly, consistently, and at the lowest cost, there is still a fierce argument between the benefits of each approach.

Despite the strong declarations about EDI’s “death,” it remains firmly ingrained in the supply chain sector. Despite the development of new communication technologies like APIs, which are impressive and easier to design and implement, APIs are not a panacea for all integration challenges.

For the past few years, the supply chain industry has attempted to standardize around EDI, and while it has been relatively effective, EDI’s constraints have limited too many supply chain players.

While APIs are clearly superior tools for smooth supply chain connection and data integration in today’s technology-enabled environment, it will be a long time before EDI is phased out or replaced. After all, APIs and EDI are the leading methods for transferring data, but not every company is ready to switch from one technology to the other.

If a firm doesn’t have the option of refusing to engage with EDI-based partners, its approach must come down to having the infrastructure in place to handle both APIs and EDI.

Move to a digital supply chain with Agistix

Agistix can help you overcome all of your supply chain automation challenges with our sophisticated visibility platform. Our key advantage is a gradual, non-disruptive integration that requires no change to your regular business flow; however, after implementation, you will see results in as soon as four weeks: 

  • Reduced costs
  • Automated operations
  • End-to-end visibility into any transaction and shipment
  • Improved order fulfillment and inventory
  • Reduced labor costs
  • A proactive approach to detecting supply chain gaps

Our extensive business expertise lets us offer a multifunctional, easy-to-use solution to have your supply chain in the palm of your hand. Learn more about our supply chain platform solutions today.

Author

kateryna ponomarenko