Digitalisation is radically changing supply chains all over the world. New technologies are challenging established practices and introducing new ways of collaborating and making decisions. As companies utilise technology to provide a competitive edge and drive efficiencies, this trend towards digitalisation is having a significant impact.
Whatever your objective, digitalisation is no longer optional. The gap between companies that implement supply chain digitalisation well and those that don’t is getting wider. So, how can buyers make the most of digitalisation?
You’re only as good as your data
Introducing digitalisation into supply chains effectively requires clean data. In recent years, companies have been trying to capture as much data as they can. In some cases this has led to over-complicated processes that actually hamper the ability to produce actionable insights.
If you are unable to form a clear picture of how your supply chains are operating, determining the impact of digitalisation will be difficult. Good data validation connects you to every part of your operations, showing you exactly how they work day to day.
Manufacturing supply chains and big data
Manufacturers have adopted the internet of things (IoT) in a big way in recent years. The industry spent $189 billion on IoT solutions in 2018 to help harness data to enhance almost every part of the manufacturing supply chain. From asset management and equipment maintenance to quality control and waste reduction, digitalisation is streamlining and improving processes.
The introduction of AI and machine learning is helping manufacturers and their suppliers with data validation and producing actionable insights. In particular, production capacity is increasing and costs are being reduced through a more efficient use of materials. Supply chain digitalisation is helping the manufacturing industry shift to a ‘manufacturing-as-a-service’ model that prioritises flexibility and customisation.
Higher efficiency, lower costs
The petrochemical supply chain is an example of a sector tackling its challenges with technology. Faced with pressure from high prices and tough competition, digitalisation is driving efficiencies and creating better cost management.
The digital tracking and tracing of equipment such as containers, valves and pumps allows operators to better utilise their assets. Which in turn reduces their administrative burdens and allows them to control the reliability and quality of their shipments. Some operators are even beginning to introduce self-driving trucks on their sites, and drones are increasingly being adopted for site inspection.
When properly managed and implemented, supply chain digitalisation can add significant value to supply chains across all sectors.
“From supplier prequalification, through solutions like crowdsourcing and integrated ‘Source-2-Pay’, the supply chain management needs to be fully digital –and connected– today,” said Javier Caravantes, Achilles Ambassadors Board Member, and former procurement consultant to petrochemical companies such as Naturgy and Cepsa.
“Companies that fail to keep up could not only lose track against their direct competitors, but also against smaller, more agile start-ups who are able to understand the power of digitalisation and challenge the economic strength of traditionally-managed businesses”
Our communities not only help buyers and suppliers get access to the kind of clean data they need to operate effectively, we also help foster cultures of digital innovation and share best practice.
Supply chains are changing in every sector and in all corners of the globe. Digitalisation could also introduce changes to every aspect of your operations. Companies that adapt to these changes, and actively use them to transform their businesses will have a competitive advantage.