Industry Trends Unlock Efficiency with Supply Chain Digitalization

What Is Supply Chain Digitization and Why Does It Matter

Digitization has been discussed in almost every industry vertical in recent years. With the rapid development of new technology, globalization, and the legacy of the pandemic, most sectors have realized the importance of going digital, either partially or entirely. 

Growing customer demands and disruptions are becoming the new normal. That’s why global supply chains are a primary area of focus for supply chain digitization, promising better efficiency, agility, and resilience. 

This blog post explores the benefits and promises of digital transformation in supply chain management, offering ways to achieve end-to-end visibility and a more profitable operation.

What is supply chain digitization?

Digitization of the supply chain relates to converting analog processes to digital ones through efficient management of validated master data. This aggregated data from a business’s global supply chain must be strategically consolidated with data from approved external sources, like supplier or carrier systems.

Supply chain digitization is generally achieved through software, which can be off-the-shelf, custom-made, or a combination of the two. This software should focus on automating and integrating business information.

New technologies enable smart digitization of supply chain management (SCM), transforming a linear process into one in which data flows bidirectionally, between a centralized platform or control tower and other external systems. This process enables real-time data collection and simultaneous communication throughout the entire chain. 

Digitizing SCM increases a company’s flexibility and agility, improves forecasting capacities, automates processes, lowers costs, and improves the customer experience.

Where does the digital supply chain drive value?

A connected digital supply chain provides many benefits to businesses, from timely and actionable data to enhanced decision-making and improved relationships with stakeholders, partners, and customers. 

Visibility

The new digital supply chain system collects information from many sources and devices. It also analyzes and communicates quickly and effectively. This gives supply chain executives the ability to access information from every part of the supply chain through integrated and networked data interchange, boosting accuracy, traceability, and operational efficiency.

Companies can identify new patterns and tendencies by analyzing the additional data now visible through connected devices, allowing them to make more holistic and well-informed business choices. 

Enhanced forecasting

According to the Boston Consulting Group, digitization in supply chain management allows for a 25% faster response to market demand changes. The number of planning cycles and frozen periods are minimized, and planning becomes a continuous process that more easily adapts to changing requirements or constraints.

When a firm employs a single digital ecosystem to control execution management, supply and demand planning, cash flow, and other supply chain processes, it is easier to plan for and anticipate the future. Using algorithms and predictive analytics can reduce forecasting errors by 10% to 20% in a digital supply chain, as demonstrated in Accenture’s supply chain digitization case studies.

Operational efficiency

Every decision, from sourcing materials to delivering products, impacts the supply chain’s bottom line. But making the right decisions requires up-to-date information.

Many supply chains struggle with fragmented data spread across different systems. This lack of visibility causes costly inefficiencies like overstocking, stockouts, and postponed shipments. 

Digitalization provides a unified view of the supply chain — integrating data from all sources into a single platform. Consequently, everyone involved can make decisions based on the same real-time information. This ensures:

  • Informed decision-making aligned with overall business objectives, as everyone has access to the same information
  • Automation and data integration that reduces manual tasks, minimizes errors, and accelerates workflows
  • Cost reduction from identifying bottlenecks, optimizing routes, and eliminating redundancies
  • Early detection of potential issues, enabling proactive interventions
  • Continuous monitoring and analysis of supply chain performance

By creating a unified view of the supply chain, organizations can tap into their live data, driving operational efficiency, agility, and a stronger bottom line.

Supply chain digitization: Investing in digital infrastructure

Digitization of supply chains is becoming the standard in supply chain management (SCM), but simply adopting new technologies won’t guarantee a competitive advantage. As the use of SCM platforms becomes more common, organizations must focus on continuous innovation and integration to stay ahead. The future lies in finding optimal ways to use data for better insights and faster responses to disruptions.

A well-connected, digitized supply chain informs a company about current processes and helps identify potential problems quicker and more effectively. All supply chain stakeholders benefit from end-to-end visibility and concurrent monitoring of authorized activities, transactions, and shipments, making it easier to proactively manage issues and minimize the impact of supply chain disruptions.  

As companies work to make their supply chains digital and connected, integrating higher volumes of more sophisticated data will be required. Greater connection raises a slew of control issues, but when paired with well-designed automation, this symbiotic relationship can deliver effective and actionable supply chain visibility

By collecting more data from connected devices and systems, businesses can identify new patterns and tendencies. Investing in a visibility platform is the most effective approach to gaining end-to-end supply chain visibility.

Supply chain digitization with Agistix

Agistix is a global supply chain visibility platform provider that enables businesses to achieve true visibility through data centralization and standardization. Agistix is at the forefront of supply chain management, offering advanced solutions for big data analytics across a wide range of complex industries, including aerospace, defense, biotech, and high-tech manufacturing. 

Agistix’s solutions support the requirements of today’s quickly evolving data interfaces and formats, enabling businesses to undergo change with minimal disruption and maximum efficiency. Contact us today to schedule a demo and see how Agistix’s practical visibility solutions can revolutionize your supply chain.

Author

Trevor Read

President at Agistix based in San Francisco. I am an entrepreneur with a passion for data, and technology. I am results-oriented and committed to developing fast-deployment solutions to help customers seize the new opportunity coming from big data in the global supply chain.