Supply chain planning is the most important aspect when it comes to ensuring business growth and improved performance. Studies show that more robust digital solutions can provide a positive impact to performance and efficiency, and businesses that work on limited budgets can partner with document conversion companies to reduce costs and improve efficiency. Supply chain digitization involves moving all aspects of a supply chain online which includes procurement, invoicing, approval cycles and payment procedures. A digital supply chain is one wherein data is collected from various sources along the supply chain and that data is integrated to enhance and restructure supply chain processes.
The key benefit of digital transformation is that it allows the supply chain to become an integrated ecosystem that is fully transparent to all players involved. This integrated system will rely on significant technologies including logistics platforms, robots, analytics, and 3D printing. Businesses that focus on quickly digitizing their supply chain can improve efficiencies, develop innovative business models, and create competitive advantage. When companies are able to deliver products/services faster, they will get more time to add other deliveries into their schedule. Thus speedy growth can be achieved within a short amount of time. To successfully carry out swift deliveries, companies will have to include strategic planning and technological advantages in supply chain management.
The goal of the digital supply chain is to build an altogether new kind of supply network that is both resilient and responsive. In fact, the tasks are all completed in the cloud, as this allows the employees to securely access supplier relation history and outstanding requests from anywhere at any time. Fred Baumann, group vice president, industry strategy, JDA, says that “Supply chain digitalization is no longer a ‘nice to have.’ It’s a strategic mandate and a dramatic differentiator that drives revenue and market share growth. The companies that are investing in their supply chain today, that have support from their leadership teams, and those that are positioning the supply chain function as a key point of differentiation – these are the companies that will excel and achieve profitable business growth.”
Major benefits of digitizing the supply chain are as follows:
- Lowers procurement costs, supply chain process costs and increases revenue, provides real-time visibility and improves accuracy and customer satisfaction – According to recent Center for Global Enterprise (CGE) research, a digital supply chain can lower procurement costs by 20%, reduce supply chain process costs by 50%, and increase revenue by 10%. A digital supply chain helps enable customer-centricity. It can provide the organization with the real-time visibility that is needed to deliver the superior customer experience that buyers demand. With a digital supply chain, companies can meet the challenges including managing customer demand, employees, technology or risk. It can also improve the accuracy throughout the vendor process, which in turns helps increase customer satisfaction.
- Become more forward-looking, adaptive and efficient – With a digital supply network, the supply chain will be more forward-looking, adaptive and effective owing to greater transparency.
- Help catalyze the current limitations of the IOT- The Internet of Things(IoT) has become a basic feature of a successful, modern supply chain. In fact, the IoT is accountable for many improvements in processes, preventive maintenance, and identification of better ways to move products. However, the IoT depends on the sharing of data, and a digital supply network can help catalyze the current limitations of the IOT exponentially.
- Helps create data-driven plans through data visualization – Since data becomes more available, it can be applied to advanced analytics opportunities. The use of data visualization capabilities will make applying data simpler. For instance, giving the manager data from the previous day’s transactions is great, however providing the manager a graph with details regarding at what time performance faltered, will go much further in allowing him/her to change business operations to prevent the failures of previous day.
- Helps improve collaboration – As data visualization tools help make changes in both the digital and physical aspects of the supply chain, internal and external collaboration will be improved across all digital platforms.
- Helps build strong, more trusting relationships with the suppliers – Businesses need to pay their suppliers on time or even early in order to build and maintain the relationships with the supplier. Digitizing payments makes it much easier to pay on time, every time, which in turn results in strong, more trusting relationships, less supplier turnover and few resources wasted on procurement.
- Helps in data retention and security – By digitizing the supply chain, data on all interactions, including invoice timing, approval status and past payments can be stored for future reference. This helps eliminate wasted time and money searching for proof of payment. The data can also provide unparalleled insights into the strengths and weaknesses of your company and its supplier relationships, when analyzed properly.
- Helps reduce carbon footprint – Getting paper invoices out ofthe processes helps organizations not only save on the paper itself, but also decrease its carbon footprint by moving more corporate systems online, including supply chain management.
Supply chain professionals expect digitization could bring significant economic benefits to any business. As per PwC’s analysis, companies with highly digitized supply chains and operations can achieve efficiency gains of 4.1% and boost revenue by 2.9% annually. Partnering with a document conversion company can help provide businesses with state-of-the-art digitization solutions. Complete and efficient digitization can enable companies to greatly improve their supply chain and operations performance at the same time and ultimately strengthen their financial outlook. Digitization of the supply chain gives companies a true source of competitive advantage, when implemented effectively.