The Supply Chain of Tomorrow is Here Today

If you’re not pursuing supply chain digitization, you run the risk of being left behind! For many organizations, all the data created by today’s disparate supply chain management technologies exist in separate silos.  The data is the lifeblood of digitization and these siloes are ripe for convergence. Early adopters are well on their way to realizing the amazing benefits and competitive advantage of digitization.  Here’s why you shouldn’t wait another moment in setting goals for digitization in your organization.

You’ve spent the last ten years (and tons of money) applying automation technologies to supply chain management functions across the disparate links in your supply chain.  You deployed ERP for procurement and order management, S&OP tools for sales and operations, WMS to automate your warehouses. You put in a TMS for logistics management, scheduling, and track & trace.  Maybe you’ve even automated yard management, settlement systems and others.

Each of those systems has helped you improve operations – tactically. The visibility and control they’ve delivered has been effective at identifying gaps, increasing efficiency, capturing cost savings, etc.  But they’ve done so isolated from each other.  As a byproduct, they’ve captured enormous volumes of data – sales order data, logistics performance and cost data and tons of other information that can power truly strategic supply chain management decisions.  However, if you’re not thinking about harnessing that data to act – strategically – you risk fully realizing the promise of automation and data-driven management.  Worse, you risk falling behind your competitors who are already taking these steps now!

Today’s leading shippers are avidly pursuing the vision of digital supply chain management, integrating the data stored in silos across their discrete systems.  They’re integrating planning and execution to power smart procurement, autonomous logistics and warehousing.  They’re feeding data harmonized across their “tech stack” to power predictive analytics, demand planning and other data practices designed to help the react to disruptions in the supply chain and even anticipate them!

PriceWaterhouseCoopers boils it down nicely in their recent Industry 4.0 report.  “The digital supply chain…  consists of eight key elements: integrated planning and execution, logistics visibility, Procurement 4.0, smart warehousing, efficient spare parts management, autonomous and B2C logistics, prescriptive supply chain analytics, and digital supply chain enablers. Companies that can put together these pieces into a coherent and fully transparent whole will gain huge advantages in customer service, flexibility, efficiency, and cost reduction; those that delay will be left further and further behind.” [emphasis ours]

PwC also rightly notes that just having the tech stack in place – ERP, TMS, WMS, YMS, etc. – isn’t enough to realize the potential.  Achieving digitization across the entire supply chain will require people with the vision, skills and knowhow to help organizations weather the cultural shift necessary for an organization to adopt such a momentous advance.  The pace of technological adoption is so rapid that what used to take decades to percolate across industries now takes mere months.  Don’t wait to act when there are digital supply chain experts at UltraShipTMS ready to help you address the transportation logistics challenges of a broader supply chain digitization initiative.