In the supply chain, this year may be a pivotal one as the reality of the truly digital supply chain alters a variety of processes within the structure. That change promises plenty of upheaval as new technologies create uncertainty along with delivering the promised rewards. Further, high-tech and electronics manufacturing, which face unprecedented levels of complexity, have some of the best opportunities.
“The supply chain is undergoing almost unparalleled levels of change. The older measures, productivity, quality, and service still apply, of course, but we now see the specter of digital transformation poised to change everything,” said Simon Ellis, program vice president, Global Supply Chain Strategies at market research firm IDC. “Whether it's the way that manufacturers and retailers plan, procure, or fulfil, digital transformation is both opening up new opportunities and presenting new challenges.”
In fact, digital transformation may be the biggest theme for 2018 in many, if not most, supply chains as organizations try to capture competitive advantage through better supply chain flexibility. Digitization will impact just about every aspect of the supply chain including planning, execution/fulfillment, procurement, and security. “We’ve seen the supply chain be more and more of the driver of future capabilities,” said Ellis. “By layering services on top of service, supply chains are being more efficient and more effective. A broader notion of digital transformation has taken root. Most manufacturers have a notion that they have to digitally transform to be relevant.”
In its recently released study titled IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Supply Chain 2018 Predictions, the company offered manufacturers and retailers 10 predictions and underlying drivers that it expects will impact manufacturers' IT investments in the supply chain this year and beyond.
We sat down with Ellis to talk about these predictions, and especially how they might affect electronics original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), contract manufacturers, and other industry players. He stressed the importance of ensuring that technology is in service of business goals to achieve something, whether reliability, visibility, or cost competitiveness. Dig into the biggest supply changes happening right now, and how they are helping business, by clicking on the image below to start a slideshow.