How to Identify Your Supply Chain’s Readiness for a Digital Tomorrow

supply chain management system

The growing digital world requires enterprises to move away from their linear supply chain management systems and adopt a more hybrid or digital approach.

Omni-channel sales alone are likely to become a $7 trillion market by the end of the year 2025. Without a digital supply chain management system in place, enterprises are unlikely to meet the increasing consumer demands of the millennial consumer across such channels. Here are various parameters to identify whether your enterprise’s supply chain network is digitally ready or not.

Knowing linear SCM is passé

The first yardstick to check whether your supply chain management system is effective in today’s digital world is to admit linear supply chains are on their way out. Traditional supply chain management systems had only one role to play which was large to ensure that goods were delivered to the stores or raw materials to the factories. Today, intelligence is being built into the product itself and ensuring additional value is being delivered around each transaction. With increasing consumer demands, regular tracking, same day delivery options supply chain management is becoming part of the product experience and not just a backend support function.

Once an enterprise admits that its supply chain management needs to be changed to be relevant in the digital world, the next step involves understanding the needs of the business. Advantages of digital supply chain management are many including more transparency and analytics, improvements in delivery times, reducing supply chain costs by adopting grid based supplies. Ideally, a supply chain solution must be engineered to build around the business type and customized as per impending business plan.

Is your SCM business approach agile yet?

Businesses are moving towards implementing an agile approach where responsive transformation is at the core. An agile work culture is incomplete unless the digital supply chain management is part of the agile system. Everything from building robust SCM data and applying data analytics to constant transformation by ‘Fail Fast-Fail Often’ approach needs to be a decisive part of the digital supply chain management. An agile supply chain management approach also adds a layer of functionality for omni-channel sales making it a must have for businesses planning to Omni-channel implementation sales in their business plans.

Are you leveraging the power of data?

There are multiple forces at work that are shaping the new digital supply chain systems for the future. One such intrinsic force is the use of big data. Irrespective of the nature or magnitude of business, technology oriented world means high volumes of data mapping.  The use of effective data mining solutions can lead to a point where data can unravel hidden trends for constant improvement in SCM functionality. The use of data analytics helps enterprises fine tune their supply chain logistics, use of delivery grids, etc. eventually leading to improved service at lower costs.

Just as businesses are leveraging the power of big data to enhance their data analytics, supply chain management can make use of data analytics to refine the supply chain ecosystem. Adopting a digital supply chain minus the power of data analytics is under achieving the vast potential digital supply chain management functionality can add to the business.

Be ready for big technology shifts

The use of RFID tags, smart codes, GPS, location based minute by minute tracking is all a cohesive part of a digital supply chain network. But if you think that is all, there is a digital supply chain management environment you are in for a surprise. The use of smart bots, autonomous self-driven vehicles for delivery, 3D printing, inter connected products, internet of things (IoT) are all the next generation developments which are already underway in some form or the other. A true digital SCM system ensures the enterprise remains ready to grab the next big ticket technological advancement and uses it to improve their SCM functionality.

The world of digital supply chain management is rapidly changing with new approaches and innovations galore. The enterprises who are the first to adopt such innovations are more likely to offer a vast range of offerings for their consumers leading to increasing in sales and improved brand value.

Make consumers your digital SCM guide

Digital supply chain management allows consumers and business enterprises to stay connected with the product at all times. Any delivery feedback from clients should be taken as a tool to progress the supply chain management to the next level. Something as simple as a client feedback has a high probability of being lost amid a high volume of data and data analytics. The consumer feedback should, in fact, be one of the fundamental pillars to understand whether the supply chain management needs a push or a timely tweak.


In a transformative business environment, it is only natural that supply chain management systems adapt a digital approach. Digital supply chains are helping improve consumer deliverability at reduced cost leading to a win-win for both buyers and enterprises.

Photo by Fortune Live Media

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