The Present and the Future State of the Digital Supply Chain

Logistics Tech Outlook | Monday, October 01, 2018

A research survey to gauge the digital maturity of the supply chain across India, the Middle East and the Asia Pacific regions was conducted with more than 250 respondents, whose annual turnovers ranged from USD 2 billion to more than USD 15 billion, across the consumer goods, energy, logistics services, e-commerce and finance sectors

The Key Findings & Analysis outline the following three focus areas of digital supply chain investment. The first category, the “Must Have” technology group includes Cloud Computing, Big Data Analytics, Connected Devices and Internet of Things. Consumer goods, services, logistics and energy sectors are investing aggressively in these technologies.

The second category, the “Fear of Missing Out” or FOMO group includes Cognitive Computing and Blockchain. Investment in the adoption of this technology is driven mainly by competition. These technologies may or may not apply to them today.

3-D Printing, Virtual and Augmented Reality make up the third category of “Emerging Technologies” that are yet to prove themselves as differentiators.

According to the survey findings, technologies improving last mile deliveries are an essential investment sector for e-commerce players whereas consumer goods sector invests in technologies which enhance their operations, procurement and planning functions. The energy sector is investing in technologies that would improve their planning and strategic decisions.

Digital supply chain strategy

One of the most exciting findings of the survey is that among organizations with a turnover less than USD 2 Billion, more than 40 percent of do not have a digital strategy. About 25 percent of the respondents have a digital strategy without governance, and 30 percent have a digital strategy with governance. Large organizations, with turnovers more than USD 10 Billion, are the ones who have successfully implemented a digital strategy. The organizations where the digital supply chain strategy was owned by the Chief Executive Officer or Chief Operating Officer instead of a Chief Procurement Officer or Chief Information Officer performed better. The survey found that the organizations that refreshed their digital strategy quarterly or half-yearly did perform better than those who did the same on a yearly basis.

Digital supply chain enablement

Reasons for innovation were found to be different among small, medium and large organizations.  Small organizations innovate to grow with the help of supply chain analytics while large organizations innovate to protect market share. The focus of the medium-sized organization is on achieving supply chain efficiency rather than being innovative.

Barriers to Digitization

With educational institutions and Universities are still following the old curriculum, there is an urgent need for an infusion of technological inputs to upgrade the knowledge imparted to the business leaders of the future.

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