Barry Pellas

Migrating to a more digital-centric strategy is essential for supply chain companies to stay relevant and competitive. However, a lack of internal understanding and motivation, as well as outdated systems have impeded many of these organizations from taking the next step. In fact, 89 percent of supply chain organizations agree that they have disparate legacy systems that impact the speed of development. Traditional technology systems are makes digital transformation a more difficult and painful process.

For supply chain organizations undergoing digital transformation, it’s important to not just look at technology improvements, but also take internal culture, customer experience, and overall company direction into account. This means migrating away from legacy systems toward a more flexible cloud architecture, encouraging cross-departmental collaboration to eliminate inefficiencies, gathering data to gain a better understanding of target audiences, and outlining solid business objectives. By taking a complete look at the steps necessary for transformation and addressing pain points, supply chain organizations will be truly adaptable.

What can supply chain organizations do to keep up?

  • Develop a strategic roadmap with measurable KPIs. Digital transformation starts with stakeholder buy-in and an engaged set of users. As it stands, 95 percent of supply chain stakeholders agree that digital plays a central role in business objectives. However, just 25 percent of supply chain companies have both company-wide and departmental KPIs to make sure that these digital objectives are being accomplished. It’s essential to have clear goals established and ways to accurately measure success in order to maintain accountability.
  • Align your organization across departments. Despite the fact that many supply chain organizations feel that their culture supports transformation through shared goals, there are still internal silos and conflict that impede progress. In fact, 70 percent of supply chain stakeholders agree that they have to fight with other departments for resources. Collaboration throughout an organization will accelerate the digital transformation progress by facilitating a healthier company culture.
  • Be able to respond quickly to changing customer and market demands. Eighty nine percent of supply chain stakeholders agree that they have disparate legacy systems that impact the speed of development. Given the dynamic nature of today’s customers, it’s important for supply chain organizations to adopt technology that lets them quickly scale and implement changes that are responsive to evolving demands. If organizations are concerned about budget or a rocky transition, they should consider implementing micro-innovations to introduce new technology in small increments. Changes don’t all need to be deployed at the same time, but they do need to be implemented or organizations will risk being left behind.

As digital becomes more ingrained across all supply chain processes, a significant amount of data comes with it. To make sense of this data and put it to use, many organizations are turning to artificial intelligence (AI). The cognitive potential of AI helps supply chain leaders turn this available data into actionable insights that can inform business decisions. As we look forward, AI will play a large role in operations, tactical goals, and transparency within an organization.

Barry Pellas is CTO and Chief Business Technologist at PointSource.