Digital Transformation for the Supply Chain

Businesses must respond to a new digital, agile and resilient reality, but the key question for their leaders becomes to what extent are today’s supply chain initiatives aligned with broader digital transformation?

A Guide to Achieving Agility & Resiliency for Boards, CEOs, CFOs & CSCOs

Digital transformation roadmaps all too often overlook supply chain challenges and opportunities.

But today, as organizations pursue digital transformation initiatives, disruptive events - whether a pandemic or another unforeseen crisis - can push supply chain issues front and center.

In fact, a growing number of boards, CEOs , CFOs, and chief supply chain officers (CSCOs) are now demanding new strategies to accelerate supply chain innovation and agility - with success measured within weeks, not months or years.

Meanwhile, in addition to a renewed focus on the supply chain, the pandemic is also driving digital transformation itself. The workforce is learning how to telecommute and collaborate virtually across a variety of industries. Customers are embracing contactless engagement and demanding more in terms of digital interaction - from virtual showrooms and catalogs to online transaction initiation, design and customization, inventory availability, order status, tracking, and more.

As a result, businesses must respond to a new digital, agile and resilient reality. The key question for their leaders becomes: To what extent are today’s supply chain initiatives aligned with broader digital transformation?

Today’s most successful management teams grasp that excellence in supply chain strategy is now a tech-infused endeavor. Leading-edge supply chains feature intimate digital integration across all relevant functions and harness state-of-the-art technologies. It’s thus essential for boards, CEOs, CFOs, and CSCOs aiming for digital transformation and supply chain optimization to closely wed the two initiatives.

The Era of the Resilient Supply Chain

Supply chains, already complex and critical to business, will grow even more complex as organizations evolve. In an era of constant innovation and disruption, customers will continue to demand faster, cheaper, and better products and services. Meanwhile, companies equipped with rich data and stronger analytics capabilities will engage in hypercompetitive business strategies with the supply chain at the forefront. These leaders will deliver value to customers faster and with greater ease and reliability than their competitors.

On top of it all, all companies - even those operating on thin margins and lean inventories - are learning that they require not only a wider range of suppliers across geographies but also more discipline across supply chain planning and operation.

The solution for driving agility and resilience in the supply chain hinges on a variety of fundamental changes. First, these changes must start with the acknowledgment that the supply chain plays a vital role in business outcomes, effectively giving the function a spot in the C-suite.

In particular, the CFO and CSCO need to establish a close business partnership in order to harness the value of their respective organizations, processes, and systems. Collaborating under a concurrent planning model, these leaders can reimagine their supply chain strategies in order to drive business performance, ROI, earnings per share, and related metrics.

Finally, it’s time to meld supply chain initiatives into broader digital transformation. Addressing both areas at once, business leaders can coordinate workflows and integrate advanced technologies across the entire enterprise. When effectively merged, digital transformation and supply chain become twin drivers of success - differentiating performance and catapulting a business past its competitors.

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