The global health crisis has impacted many industries in multiple ways, but one of the hardest hit areas of any business has been the supply chain. As a result, what was a gradual evolution towards digitization became a much more urgent issue, forcing supply chain officers to turn to new and emerging technologies.
This future-facing outlook will help companies not only in the continuing aftermath of COVID-19, but also into the greater future, allowing for rapid changes with the times.
Digitization offers companies the ability to hit two key objectives at the same time, ones that are often considered contradictory- the ability to offer great customer service while still lowering costs.
Digitization Develops Supply Chain Resilience
One key metric to achieve this is by improving a supply chain’s resilience, especially in how it meets customer needs. Supply chains must be able to meet the demands of the marketplace, be that for particular products, trends in manufacturing or packaging, or shipping issues due to natural disasters (or large ships blocking canals).
Integration technologies such as Business Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence offer increased options in these and many other fields.
Profitability may be the main concern, but it can no longer be the only concern. Organizations that are supply chain focused have to demonstrate readily visible, purpose-driven value to their stakeholders.
Many supply chain organizations are turning to making a lesser impact on the environment by reducing waste, changing their sourcing, and reducing their greenhouse gas and water impacts over the medium term. These improvements demonstrate a commitment that many stakeholders would look positively on, outside the traditional bottom line.
This trend is not likely to go away any time soon, only intensify, so companies that delay in this arena will likely lag behind in other areas as well.
The Role of Technology in Digital Transformation
The same technology that can assist in boosting the bottom line can assist in these efforts as well. Companies moving towards digitization have a better grasp on the data, trends, and methods needed to make positive changes in regards to their environmental ecosystem.
By focusing on digitization and emerging technologies, businesses of all sorts can position themselves to succeed not only in the present, but in the future. By being forward-thinking, organizations can build strong, integrated supply chains, ensuring their profitability long term.