Pressure on Supply Chains is Driving the Need for Digitization

The surveys conducted by MHI as part of the drafting of their recently released 2019 Annual Industry Report, “Elevating Supply Chain Digital Consciousness”, show that the following factors and market dynamics are driving companies to digitize as a way to stay relevant and competitive into the future:

  • Digitization and the “always on” supply chain. Today’s consumers demand a lot from the companies they do business with, expecting free shipping, same-day delivery, and real-time updates on purchases.

Pressure on Supply Chains is Driving the Need for Digitization - Waller & Associates - Supply Chain Consulting

Technology is now an integral part of supply chains, and leading companies are increasingly using digital innovation to help them meet customer expectations and stay competitive.

  • “Free” shipping has become so common in the last few years that customers have come to regard it as the norm and expect it from all suppliers. To meet this expectation, companies must innovate and use technology cleverly to find ways to reduce or contain shipping costs, as well as be able to handle modified orders and returns.
  • Today’s consumers have very high levels of social and environmental awareness and expect the same from the companies they do business with. Creating supply chains that factor in concern for the environment, recycling, reuse, sustainability, responsible sourcing and disposal, accountability, and social responsibility requires hard work, ingenuity, and the application of relevant digital technologies.
  • In many supply chain environments, a shortage of skilled workers with the required technical skills is hampering innovation and growth. Organizations that would benefit the most from a new breed of digital-skilled workers are often not seen as desirable places to work because they lack a current culture of digitization. Cross-functional draining and “reverse-mentoring” can help attract and retain the right kind of people and drive the company’s digital strategy forward.
  • Deciding which technologies to adopt and implement is an area of concern for many decision makers, who know that using the right technology and digitizing supply chains will a critical success factor going forward. It is vital that the organization’s technical architecture has enough built-in flexibility and agility to adapt as the needs of the business’ supply chain mature and evolve.