How Will Digitization Improve The Supply Chain?
The COVID-19 pandemic and regional conflicts across the world caused enormous stress on the global supply chain, bringing many of its inadequacies to light. Advanced technical solutions can alleviate problems plaguing the supply chain, including the following issues that reduce supply chain resiliency:
The supply chain operates on a manual, spreadsheet-based system. This type of system is insufficient for exchanging information at the pace and scale of modern commerce because it is outdated, time-consuming, and prone to human error.
There are extreme shortages and delays within the supply chain. These situations increase consumer frustration and anxiety, which can hurt businesses by decreasing sales and damaging customer loyalty.
The supply chain lacks efficient tracking systems. When a problem arises at one point of the supply chain, a centralized tracking system to locate the point of origin and alert other nodes of the supply chain network is lacking. For example, if there is an outbreak of E. coli linked to romaine lettuce, it can take up to 6-8 weeks for the source of contamination to be identified and 10-14 weeks before the product is recalled. This exacerbates the spread of illness, upsets customers, and hurts the producer’s brand image.
Advantages of Supply Chain Digitization
Digitization replaces costly, labor-intensive work with automation. Greater trust in machine-driven computation can augment human intelligence and help build company resiliency. With less money, time, and effort, automation can contribute to better systematic flow, increased productivity, streamlined communication, more cost-efficient use of materials, and shorter workweeks.
There is much to gain from supply chain digitization:
Digitization builds visibility in the supply chain. Due to the interconnected nature of the supply chain, problems at one link of the chain will inevitably affect other links. Supply chain visibility enables operations at each point of the supply chain to identify and alleviate problems at the source. Digitization provides an accurate tracking system to locate each shipment of individual products with lightning speed. This yields better customer service and increased regulation of products within an organization.
Digitization enables rapid access to information about an organization’s supply chain, empowering businesses to utilize data to improve performance. Online and remote tracking of information eliminates the need to shuffle through endless spreadsheets because all the data you need is digitized and instantly accessible at your fingertips. When data is organized, tracked, and analyzed to identify operational deficiencies, businesses can assess and optimize productivity levels at each stage of the supply chain.
Digitization strengthens communication between producers and consumers, increasing brand loyalty and trust. The future of the supply chain is digital, and this will play out in various innovative ways in global retail. Businesses will establish stronger, more direct relationships with consumers. For example, if someone purchased a contaminated product, they could receive a real-time alert about the hazard if a company uses technology that optimizes supply chain tracking and transparency.
The pandemic has exposed the weaknesses of manual processes governing supply chains. This triggered growing urgency among organizations to build more intelligent supply chains to remain resilient and competitive. Interested in future-proofing your business by automating data transfer within your retail supply chain? Contact us to learn how Venzee can accelerate digital transformation at your company.
Ahluwalia, H. (2021, June 11). Why supply chain spreadsheets can cause major supply chain issues. The Owl. Retrieved February 28, 2022, from https://www.theowlsolutions.com/post/why-supply-chain-spreadsheets-can-cause-major-supply-chain-issues.
Breteau, S. (2021, September 1). Council post: Digitizing for end-to-end supply chain visibility. Forbes. Retrieved February 28, 2022, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2021/09/01/digitizing-for-end-to-end-supply-chain-visibility/?sh=6ecc6eb57c30.