July 22, 2022 | Supply Chain Software Blogs
The past two years have been very challenging for businesses across industries, with many finding themselves in the midst of what is perhaps the longest disruption till date.
To mitigate the impact on business and prepare for the future, many have decided to leverage technology and digitalize supply chain operations.
But how exactly does a digital supply chain work? And more importantly, how can supply chain digitalization benefit your business?
The primary objective of digitalizing a supply chain is to enhance transparency and have end-to-end visibility of the movement of raw materials, components and finished goods across the network. Because of such visibility, a stakeholder at one end of the supply chain knows exactly what is happening at the other end of the network at any given point in time.
Here are some of the key capabilities of a digital supply chain:
Digitalization aligns supply chain processes together and ensures that there are no gaps in your supply chain. It ensures that each process in the supply chain is in sync with subsequent processes. Thus, there is seamless communication and information-sharing across the entire network.
Digitalization ensures that you don’t have to look at things in hindsight. Instead, you get to call the shots. In other words, with a digital supply chain, there is a much-needed transition from a reactive to proactive strategy. You can actively monitor the market and prepare beforehand for likely changes in supply and demand as well as unprecedented situations. This can help adjust inventory and associated costs.
Digitalization empowers your supply chain by providing access to real-time data. And with a unified supply chain platform, you can access all data in one place, which eliminates the dependence on disparate systems and multiple data streams. Real-time data helps your business act quickly, spot a deviation and respond in a timely fashion. Data analytics and advanced technology, such as artificial intelligence, can break down this data to derive useful insights.
The unprecedented events of recent years have highlighted the significance of effective risk management. For many businesses, this is, in fact, the number one priority today. A digital supply chain helps you in this regard. As you work closely with suppliers and regularly evaluate their performance, you are in a better position to identify and assess risks that may arise at any point of the supply chain. As you foresee potential risks, you can be better prepared and take steps to mitigate their impact.
Advanced, cloud-based platforms help build agility by enhancing scalability, speed and flexibility. Centrally hosted RFx, contracts and spend data reduce resource dependency and risk of data loss. Likewise, automated system for procure-to-pay (P2P) enhances accuracy and enables faster incident management and issue resolution. All this ensures that supply chains are resilient and not likely to crumble under pressure.
A digital supply chain promotes collaboration and allows you to work closely with suppliers. A comprehensive supplier database aggregates spend, classification, certification and performance. With all this information, you can do a total cost analysis and make an informed purchase decision. You can also leverage a central repository of supplier performance and KPIs and a database of supplier issue logs to holistically evaluate suppliers.
The deployment of digital automates routine supply chain workflows and reduces manual effort. You can focus on strategic goals and establish a vision for how digital applications can improve service, reduce costs and inventory levels to drive operational excellence.
With digitalizing, everything in the supply chain network becomes standardized. Standardized, customized RFx and contract templates are centrally available within the organization as are should-cost templates and supplier forms.
A digital supply chain is the need of the hour. Not only can digitalization build the much-needed resilience, but it can also align supply chain operations with strategic goals and objectives. Businesses witness improved visibility, responsiveness and collaboration and are well-equipped to handle potential disruptions.