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Survey reveals multiple dimensions of the supply chain, now and future

November 14, 2017
A survey was recently conducted by GT Nexus, an Infor company, and Capgemini about the current and future state of the digital supply chain. The report contains many insights which can help manufacturers understand the current best practices for creating effective digital networks with suppliers, co-manufacturers, contractors, and partners. The report will also provide manufacturers with valuable insights about the digital opportunities supply chain professionals anticipate in the future.

This data will help manufacturers plan their own supply chain strategies and prioritize investment dollars. As manufacturers face increasing pressure to modernize numerous aspects of their IT infrastructure, from processing orders to scheduling service, this guidance will prove beneficial in understanding the big picture and the end-to-end impact of digital technologies on the manufacturer’s bottom line. The supply chain already plays a critical role in maintaining appropriate inventory levels and adhering to the planned schedule. In the future, as synchronized systems become even more fine-tuned, visibility into the supply chain status will take on even more importance.

Here are some of the highlights of the GT Nexus-Capgemini report. You can also download the full report.

“But in today’s globalized and outsourced world, an organization’s success is no longer dependent on its own efforts alone. Today, the success of an organization depends largely on how effectively it can orchestrate a vast, global network of supply chain partners to deliver goods and services that meet the needs of individual consumers,” says the report.

Key findings of the research study include:

Digital Transformation of the Supply Chain is important
• 75% of respondents say that digital transformation of the supply chain is “important or very important”
• 50% say that Digital Transformation is “very important”

Progress has been slow so far
• 33% of respondents said they are “dissatisfied” with progress so far
• Only 5% are “very satisfied”

Key technology enablers have been identified, but are not widely used yet
• Supply Chain Visibility Platforms/Tools (94%), Big Data Analytics (90%),
Simulation Tools (81%) and Cloud (80%) are the biggest technology enablers of Digital Supply Chain Transformation
• But 48% of respondents admit that right now “traditional” methods such as phone, fax, email are still the dominant ways to interact with supply chain partners

Dramatic changes are expected within just 5 years
• Today only 15% of respondents say that most data from the extended supply chain is accessible to their organization. In 5 years, that number jumps to 54%
• Today only 23% of respondents say that most data from the extended supply chain is analyzed and used for decision making. In 5 years, that number jumps to 68%
• In 5 years from now, 95% of respondents expect more processes with suppliers to be automated
• In 5 years from now, 94% expect to receive more real-time status updates from across the entire supply chain

Eliminate weak links

The report also makes some important points about the interdependence of the various organizations in the value chain. “In order to undergo a successful digital transformation, an organization is now largely dependent on the digital transformation of every partner along its value chain and the digital transformation of all the processes and information flows between those different partners. In other words, the digital transformation of an extended value chain can only be as robust as the digital transformation of its weakest link. If digital transformation is only applied to one single organization within a network, it will fall short.”

Final advice

“Successful transformation needs to adopt a holistic view of the entire ecosystem of partners, from raw material providers, manufacturing partners and suppliers, logistics and transportation providers to retail and distribution channels. What happens between the individual parts of the network is just as, if not more, important than what happens inside each one,” recommends the report.

It’s all about data access, data sharing, collaboration, and network-wide analytics. The right technology to support your digital supply chain is critical.
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