Wednesday 29th Mar 2017 - Logistics & Supply Chain

Are you facing a digital disadvantage?

More than half of supply chain professionals expect the majority of data from the extended supply chain to be accessible to their organisations in the next five years – that is a massive rise from the 15 per cent that say it is now.

The figures come from a survey of more than 300 industry leaders around the world, by Capgemini and GT Nexus, and highlight the size of the gap between where organisations are today and where they want to be in five years’ time.

For example, one third of the respondents said they were dissatisfied with progress so far on the digital transformation while only five per cent said their were very satisfied.

Mathieu Dougados, senior vice president at Capgemini Consulting, spelled out the scale of the challenge: “In today’s globalised and outsourced world, digital transformation can only be successful if companies approach it with a holistic view of their entire value chain. That value chain can include hundreds of partners. So connectivity between partners, cross-company access to data, and the use network-wide analytics become the key focus areas.”

And the point was hammered home by Kurt Cavano, vice chairman and chief strategy officer at GT Nexus: “Supply chain transformation is a massive undertaking that requires leadership and vision at the C-level, and a holistic transformation approach that fosters automation, connectivity, data sharing and collaboration across the entire value chain.”

The survey suggests that key technology enablers have been identified but are not yet widely used. Supply chain visibility platforms/tools (94 per cent), big data analytics (90 per cent), simulation tools (81 per cent) and cloud (80 per cent) are seen as the biggest technology enablers of digital supply chain transformation.

But almost half (48 per cent) of respondents said that right now “traditional” methods such as phone, fax, email are still the dominant ways to interact with supply chain partners.

So where will we be in five years? Two third of respondents expect that the majority of data from the supply chain will be analysed and used for decision making. It’s less than a quarter today. Some 95 per cent expect more processes with suppliers to be automated, and 94 per cent expect to receive more real time status updates from across the entire supply chain.

Sounds impressive, certainly. The problem of course is getting there. Companies are going to have to move fast if these ambitions are to be met.

Not only that: there is a real danger that a company that fails to keep up with the pace of change could find itself at a competitive disadvantage.

Malory Davies
Editor

 

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