Digital Supply Chain is an important and evolving paradigm driven by a set of new generation technologies and influenced by the new wave of business models that are demanding more from the supply chain. Of course, digital is the latest buzzword and it seems like everything is going digital and everyone is doing digital. Despite some hype and hyperbole, the digital supply chain is real and realistic and will continue to impact business performance.

The digital supply chain is orchestrated and enabled by exciting new technologies, some emergent and some established, but continually evolving.

Let’s take a look at the technologies which are enabling the digital supply chain.

    • Data Analytics: Big Data and concepts like predictive analytics are impacting areas like supply chain forecasting, routing optimization, supply and demand variability analysis and operational capacity planning.
    • Mobility: Untethering from a fixed device has tremendous implications for supply chain across the board whether it is accessing supply catalog in a remote location or procurement on a mobile device.

Digital Supply Chain is an important and evolving paradigm driven by a set of new generation technologies and influenced by the new wave of business models that are demanding more from the supply chain.

  • Cloud: On demand scaling, real-time tracking, synchronization across extended networks are not just possibilities, they are realities now.
  • Augmented reality and Virtual Reality: From sourcing to producing, AR and VR impacts areas like selection, modeling, collaborative development etc.
  • Robotic Process Automation: Many routine tasks could be handled by Robotic Process automation, particularly when it involves mundane and repetitive chores as well as brute force work.
  • Machine Learning and AI: While still in a nascent state, machine learning and AI have implications for shop floors to design rooms.
  • Location-based Services and IoT (Internet of things): Geolocation combined with beacons and sensors provide unprecedented ability to track and monitor various things including stock fulfillment, equipment status, environmental factors etc.
  • 3-D Printing: New production techniques, on-demand product creation, and new locations are some of the things possible with industrial scale 3D printing.

As additional digital technologies emerge and existing technologies evolve, there is tremendous potential for disruption in the supply chain space. The question is not if one needs to go digital, but the question is how can you not go digital and survive? Digital supply chain managers are now in the throes of a revolution they did not create, but one where the future belongs to the bold and the brave who can let go of past proclivities and get on with the times.

The Digital Transformation of Supply chain is well underway and CIOPages.com offers a variety of resources for supply chain professionals. Please check out:

Supply Chain Management Transformation Toolkit
Supply Chain Transformation Business Requirements
Supply Chain Operating Models
Supply Chain Transformation Resources