Supply chain is a massive industry that’s constantly evolving. The majority of our clients that buy, sell, or move products are affected by these changes. Digital transformation benefits supply chain by improving efficiencies and increasing visibility of processes. Consumer expectations and legislation (to some extent) are pushing requirements onto companies, which creates a significant need in supply chain for digitally tracking and providing visibility at every stage.
The ultimate driver for supply chain’s future is customers’ expectations of the information they can get out of it. That’s never-ending and something all businesses can take to heart.
2 Strategies for Success:
1. Pay Attention to Consumer Demands
Amazon.com has grown into the empire it is today largely because of its effective supply chain. Customers would stop buying from Amazon if they didn’t trust that their items would arrive in two days. The “Amazon effect” has shaped consumers’ expectations for online shopping.
Pivoting to B2B, you could reasonably ask, “How will the Amazon effect shape B2B supply chain expectations?” This is where the expectation of full lifecycle visibility comes into play. While technologies like blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT) are important components of a supply chain solution, what’s most important is gaining that visibility into your inventory at every stage.
2. Start with a Visionary Mindset
Consider what you want your company to look like in the future, and strategically figure out how to get there. Operations is a huge component of supply chain. It runs the gamut from factory and warehouse locations to the kind of fleet you need to transport materials and finished products.
Consider these questions: What are your limiting capabilities within the supply chain that will prevent you from achieving success? What threats keep you from operating your business the way you are today? For instance, grocery stores need to consider the rising trend in home delivery. How will this change impact how the store will need to operate in two years?
Focusing on Optimization and Continuous Improvement
One of the largest producers of natural gas liquids and one of the largest natural gas processing companies in the United States had a dispersed distribution network with local warehouses being managed manually, along with low inventory turns. It needed support in designing a program.
We facilitated a scalable materials management capability that aligned to enterprise initiatives focused on optimization and continuous improvement.
We conducted cross-functional workshops to develop a conceptual design and future-state processes. This resulted in more than $5 million in annual process improvement savings.
Want More Digital Transformation Advice?
The digital transformation strategies I share in this blog post draw from Perficient’s e-book, “How to Make Digital Transformation Gains in 2019.” In it, my fellow Perficient Chief Strategists and I share real-world examples from conversations with today’s leading brands at various stages of digital transformation. The 10-chapter e-book features business insights, actions to take now, and client success stories. Download it here or via the form below.
Read all of the blog posts in this series here.
About the Author
Bob Vanek has more than 20 years of experience in delivering supply chain solutions across a variety of industries. Bob led the supply chain management integration for a major telecom company’s acquisition of a wireless service provider. Additionally, he has worked with the core leaders of Perficient’s supply chain practice for 20 years across four companies.