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About The Author: Hanna Shnaider
Head of Marketing at @fortyseven47 | PhD in Philology | Passionate About Modern Technologies | Bringing Digitalization Towards the Business.
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The gradual onset of big data technology and the continuous evolution of various work process technologies has taken off new dimensions. The advent of the Internet of Things and other connected devices has left no stone unturned in impacting supply chain functionality on a strategic level.  It has spurred the evolution of digital transformation across all aspects of supply chain operations including financing, procurement, and warehousing. 

This article explores the concept behind digital transformation and its impact on material handling processes. Get all insights into this article about Digital Transformation in Supply Chain: Definition, Examples, and Tips.

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Supply chain digital transformation: how and why it matters to your organization?

Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, fundamentally changing how you operate and deliver value to customers. It’s also a cultural change that requires organizations to continually challenge the status quo, experiment, and get comfortable with failure.

Supply chain digital transformation isn’t just about implementing new technology—it’s about using new technologies to fundamentally change how your business operates and delivers value to your customers. Digital supply chains offer a slew of benefits for organizations, including:

  • Increased efficiency
  • Reduced costs
  • Improved visibility into operations
  • Improved customer service

However, many organizations are still hesitant about digital transformation because they don’t know where to start or what it entails. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about digital supply chain management, including what it is and how it can benefit your organization.

Supply Chain Digital Transformation – what is it about?

Supply chain digital transformation is one of the most exciting challenges for supply chain management and technology. Traditional supply chains are based on data-intensive processes that can be improved by implementing new technologies and business models. The main purpose of supply chain digital transformation is to improve customer experience by reducing barriers between customers and suppliers through improved communication channels, real-time visibility into inventory levels, etc. 

The aim is to make all processes in the supply chain more transparent so that customers can receive their orders faster while also reducing costs for all parties involved (manufacturers/suppliers).

Digital Transformation In Supply Chain: Definition, Examples and Tips

Digital Transformation in Supply Chain Defined: is the process of using technology to solve business problems and fundamentally improve business processes. It’s a broad term that can encompass a variety of initiatives across the organization—from marketing to sales, customer service to finance. Today, digital transformation is an increasingly important part of overall business strategy.

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Examples:

For example, Walmart’s recent digital transformation in the supply chain has enabled them to provide customers with more accurate information about when their orders will arrive at their doorsteps—a feature that was previously only available for items bought directly from.

By integrating digital technologies into the supply chain, customers will be more engaged in the journey. The automated tracking system provided by the supplier, for instance, can ensure that a customer is kept up-to-date about the status of his/her order until it is received by him/her.

Digital Transformation Tips in Supply Chain:

Digital transformation in the supply chain is important because, as you’ve seen, it makes operations more efficient and enables better decision-making.  To accomplish this, you first have to take advantage of new technologies to enhance your processes and gain the insights they offer.

Here are some ways you can get started with digital transformation in your supply chain:

  • Leverage technology to improve real-time visibility
  • Extend visibility throughout the entire supply chain
  • Implement advanced analytics for greater insight
  • Establish a clear vision for digital transformation in the supply chain.
  • Start with a pilot project and move from there.
  • Focus on collaboration, integration, and automation.
  • Overcome the “not invented here” syndrome.
  • Empower your teams.

How supply-chain capabilities and technologies have evolved?

Supply-chain capabilities and technologies have evolved significantly over the past decade, with digital transformation playing a central role in this evolution. In recent years, supply chains have become increasingly automated. The use of intelligent robots and other technologies has allowed companies to improve their supply-chain processes and reduce costs.

The internet of things (IoT) is another trend that is reshaping how businesses operate. The IoT allows companies to collect data from sensors placed throughout their supply chains, which can be used to improve efficiency and quality control.

The rise of cloud computing has also helped accelerate digital transformation in supply chain management. Companies can now store their data online, instead of on local servers, which makes it easier for them to share information with other companies or partners.

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Planning an effective digital transformation of a supply chain

Digital transformation at the enterprise level refers to taking advantage of analytics, artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things, and other advanced technologies to collect, process, and automatically use information to make decisions, automate activities, and otherwise enhance productivity. By using digital applications to improve service, cost, agility, and inventory management, a supply chain digital transformation improves service, cost, agility, and inventory management. This is achieved through systematic integration of process and organizational changes which improve operational excellence. 

Here are some steps to help you plan for a successful digital transformation:

Define your goals and objectives:- It’s important to know what you want to accomplish with a digital transformation and how it will benefit your company. Without a clear vision, it’s difficult to know where to focus or what resources to apply toward achieving your goals.

Understand your current state:- Take an inventory of all the systems that are currently in place for managing your supply chain operations. Compare them with industry standards and best practices, and identify areas where changes can be made.

Create a roadmap for implementing changes:- Work with your team to create a timeline that outlines short-term and long-term goals for improving efficiency and effectiveness within the supply chain process. Develop strategies based on these findings, such as automating manual tasks or incorporating new technologies into existing systems.

Start small but start now!

You don’t have time to wait until everything is perfect before implementing new technology solutions in your business operations; start small but begin making improvements as soon as possible so they become a habit rather than

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Key factors of successful digital transformation in supply chain 

Digital transformation is playing a key role in supply chain management. According to a study published by the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics and Capgemini Consulting, supply chain professionals believe that digitalization will drive increased profitability and customer satisfaction. Here are the top five key factors of successful digital transformation in the supply chain:

  1. Vision: The vision of the company must be clearly defined and aligned with business objectives. 
  2. Investment: Companies need to make significant investments in technology and infrastructure.
  3. Talent: Organizations need to prioritize talent management, developing employees’ digital capabilities as well as recruiting new talent with the right skills and mindset for the digital age. 
  4. Leadership: Leaders need to set an example, driving innovation and change within their organizations by demonstrating a commitment to continuous learning, encouraging collaboration, and setting clear goals that align across departments and stakeholders. 
  5. Culture: Organizations should foster an environment of openness to change and new ideas where employees feel comfortable taking risks while being supported through failure, as long as they learn from it.