- What does digitizing the supply chain mean?
- How can companies get started? Where does the journey begin?
- What value and benefits can organizations derive from it?
- What new technologies and opportunities are shifting the landscape? What actions should companies take to keep up with future advancements?
At its core, digitizing the supply chain refers to moving away from a system of PDF and Word files, long email chains, and complex spreadsheets. Processing all of that information via a digital platform that can structure that data and transform it into a model of the global supply chain brings a competitive advantage into play. Combining data from 3PLs, customers, partners, suppliers, brokers, and freight forwarders into an aggregated format allows organizations to visualize and analyze opportunities in a holistic view.
To get started, companies should survey their employees to get a better understanding of what processes are currently in place – and how much time is wasted during those processes with manual work. Many executives are misinformed in believing their organization’s ERP provider handles the entirety of their supply chain operations.
- Provide forwarders and carriers a robust electronic transaction with clear data points supplied by your digital supply chain solution.
- Move goods through customs much faster, cutting 3-5 days on average out of a 6-8 week supply chain cycle.
- Instantly determine if there are trade agreements to be taken advantage of or duty deferral schemes that can save tremendous amounts of money.
- Mitigate risk from a regulations standpoint by leveraging export and import compliance functionalities.
- Ensure a digital record of audits are present for record-keeping.
- Manage events like strikes or natural disasters that might disrupt your supply chain, giving you agility to maneuver and access new distributors.
- Identify any bottlenecks in your supply chain.
Digitization offers opportunities to collaborate (both visually and electronically), automate tasks and process data, and fully analyze data in a single digital database. To learn more about what your organization can gain from a digital supply chain, whether you’re just getting started or refining your processes, check out our video interview with Ty Bordner and Adrian Gonzalez.
This post was published on April 18, 2018 and updated on May 11, 2018.