Digital Age Demands Supply Chain Restructuring

The digital age is upon us—and how organizations manage the transition to leveraging data more holistically will decide supply chain success and defeat. In fact, the only thing that that will be constant is change.

A recent white paper from market research firm IDC, titled White Paper Digital Transformation Drives Supply Chain Restructuring Imperative, explained: 

There's every reason to believe that this pace of change will accelerate and that the supply chain of the future will be in a constant state of flux. Companies that can build supply chain flexibility more quickly will be better positioned to support their consumers/customers and thus grow their business more effectively.

In its white paper, IDC identified five stages of maturity for digital supply chain as follows:

  1. Ad hoc. This stage is characterized by poorly defined goals that sometimes lead to chaos. Movement and change come from individuals, and the positive results are often siloed within the organization. Business goals and IT digital initiatives are not effectively paired for best results and the needs/wants of the customer are neglected.
  2. Opportunistic. In this stage, the company has captured basic capabilities, and there are processes in place to achieve repeatability on an ongoing basis. However, these organizations are not leaders, but instead lag in efforts to develop a comprehensive strategy and execute across the entire organization. Progress tends to be unpredictable.
  3. Repeatable. The organization has clearly aligned business and IT goals for the near term at the enterprise level. “Digital initiatives for product or service delivery and customer experiences but are not yet focused on their disruptive potential,” the report said. At this stage, the organization has documented, standardized, and integrated capabilities at the business level. These organization tend to be on par with competitors.
  4. Managed. An agile management vision combined with embedded digital transformation capabilities are tightly linked at this stage. These business leaders deliver integrated and synergistic business-IT disciplines in order to continuously deliver digitally enabled products and services.
  5. Optimized. At the most mature level, organizations are affecting markets by using new digital technologies and business markets. A continuous feedback loop has been created to ensure improvement and innovation. Leaders in these organizations encourage risk taking and experimentation in pursuit of innovation.

The infographic below offers more details of the Digital Transformation in the Supply Chain Survey, which was sponsored by OpenText. IDC conducted its study, in the fourth quarter of 2016. It polled 254 respondents from manufacturing, retail, and consumer products across three company size ranges in seven countries.

Where is your organization in terms of embracing digital transformation? Let us know in the comments section below. 

— Hailey Lynne McKeefry, Editor in Chief, EBN Circle me on Google+ Follow me on Twitter Visit my LinkedIn page Friend me on Facebook

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