Gartner: How to transform your digital supply chain

By Janet Brice
A blend of physical capabilities with emerging digital innovation, is the key to achieving a successful supply chain transformation, report Gartner...

A blend of well-established physical capabilities with emerging digital innovation, is the key to achieving a successful supply chain transformation, according to a report from Gartner.

Organisations with effective supply chain digital transformation roadmaps are three times as likely to see their digital chains succeed, reveals the report. However, according to Gartner more than 50% of organisations have not started to build a roadmap towards supply chain digital transformation.

“Digital is a key priority for most supply chain leaders,” commented Gartner. 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.

“Start leveraging digital technologies to increase business performance by building a supply chain digital transformation roadmap that addresses both short-term improvements and a strategic long-term vision,” says the report.

Plan for change

According to Gartner’s report, digital supply chain planning requires different capabilities versus traditional planning: technical skills including advanced analytics; business skills like cross-functional collaboration and data-driven decision making and behaviours/traits such as adaptability and risk taking.

“Effective roadmaps for transformation consider redesigning the planning organisation, centralising the analytics team and building supply chain talent for the future.

“Investing in supply chain digital transformation ensures your supply chain can harness and scale the technology and innovation that promise growth, risk mitigation, and cost optimisation benefits,” comments Gartner.

“Gartner showed us how to look at the digital frontier and find out from data what stage companies are at in adapting supply chain trends,” said Director, Supply Chain Design Transportation and Logistics Industry.

According to the report the three steps to accelerating supply chain digital transformation include:

  • Integrating supply chain into the digital ecosystem
  • Implementing autonomous supply chain
  • Synchronising with digital business

These can be downloaded on a playbook produced by Gartner and available on the link below.

“CEOs are working hard to hunt revenue growth while resetting or rebuilding their businesses for a new reality. Digital investment, including supply chain digital transformation, can help them return to growth quickly and effectively. Introducing new digital products – including e-commerce and digitally enabled products (subscription-based, pay as you go) – has the highest returns of digital transformation tactics they have tried,” says Gartner.

  • Supply chain leaders are pointing to three technology opportunities to optimise supply chain costs:
  • Robotic process automation (RPA) to automate repetitive supply chain processes
  • Advanced analytics to improve and automate supply chain decision making
  • Collaborative/smart robots to further automate operations across factories and distribution centres

“Supply chain leaders can leverage supply chain digital transformation to build agile supply chains that sense and respond to unanticipated changes in demand or supply, quickly and reliably, without sacrificing cost or quality. 

“Emerging digital innovations like AI, advanced analytics, big data/data lakes, and the Internet of Things support a more transparent, automated, intelligent, and orchestrated end-to-end supply chain,” reveals the report.

For further insights on supply chain digital transformation from the consultants Gartner click on the link below.

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