Dec 04, 2020

Gartner: Three-steps to supply chain digital transformation

supply chain
Gartner
Digital Transformation
Technology
Janet Brice
3 min
Digital Supply Chain
Blend physical and digital capabilities according to Gartner’s three-point plan to achieve a successful supply chain digital transformation...

Physical capabilities blended with emerging digital innovation is the key to achieving a successful supply chain digital transformation which can drive growth, mitigate risk and optimise costs according to consultants Gartner.

“By first developing the foundational supply chain capabilities and then incorporating proven business and technology innovations, leading supply chains can move beyond exploration to integration and optimisation,'' commented Gartner.

Outlined in the report Three-Step Plan for Supply Chain Digital Transformation, Gartner has mapped out their definitive three-step plan for supply chain digital transformation.

“Digital is a key priority for most supply chain leaders, but fewer than half have defined or plan to implement a supply chain digital transformation roadmap that addresses both short-term improvements and a strategic long-term vision. 

“Supply chain digital transformation is proven to drive growth, mitigate risk and optimise costs, but requires strong alignment between business and supply chain strategy to succeed,” said Gartner.

According to the report, more advanced capabilities provide a springboard for developing innovative ways of working, new business models and game-changing competitive advantages. 

  1. Embed supply chain in the digital ecosystem

An organisation’s digital ecosystem is a network of people, businesses and things interacting through real-time integrated solutions. 

“By leveraging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data, information is shared effectively across the digital ecosystem. These technologies can also inform decision making and drive efficiencies across the supply chain ecosystem. 

Technology can blur boundaries between internal and external partners. “To enable the execution of everyday supply chain processes in a digital ecosystem, supply chain leaders need to determine the role that digital technology plays and validate and manage partners’ physical and digital requirements,” recommended Gartner.

  1. Implement autonomous supply chain

The introduction and pervasiveness of artificial intelligence (AI) into supply chains can introduce autonomous processes into their functions that augment — not replace — people. 

“AI is expected to be able to progressively make a range of complex decisions, more autonomously (for example; better predict demand, set inventory levels, reroute transportation, redesign the supply and distribution network),” comment Gartner.

The paper recommends supply chain leaders need to ensure their organisations are ready for digital business. 

“This means becoming more informed about the application of digital technologies and the operating practices best suited to leverage them. They should also know how to align and deploy their expertise across workflows, rather than require business partners to come to them.”

  1. Synchronise with digital business

Supply chain leaders can play a crucial role in identifying and addressing any gaps in their organisation’s response to the challenge of digital business. “Synchronising physical capabilities with digital ones builds resilience in supply chains,” commented Gartner.

“Supply chain leaders, as a result, are better able to identify potential disruption within the supply chain ecosystem, mitigate those disruptions and minimize impacts to supply chain costs or service. Key to synchronisation are: Proactive risk mitigation, real-time asset optimisation, autonomous operational responses, instant demand shaping and sensing, and proactive corporate social responsibility management.

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