Global supply chain management has taken a sharp detour as the aftermath of the pandemic affects businesses worldwide. When the pandemic arrived in early 2020, many companies found their supply chains severely disrupted. According to Deloitte, more than 200 of the global Fortune 500 had a significant presence in Wuhan, China which was the epicenter of the virus outbreak. These companies and the customers they serve experienced unprecedented supply chain disruption as businesses, ports, and travel were entirely shut down or severely curtailed.
What’s next, then, for global supply chain management? Companies worldwide are seeking ways to cushion against any further disruption. They are finding the solution in a new wave of digital transformation that promises to affect supply chain management like never before.
New Trends in Supply Chain Management
Industry outsiders are shocked to learn that many manufacturers still use paper-based transactions. While other industries have migrated to technology, cloud-based systems, and the latest software, manufacturers may not have had that option—until now.
Manufacturers who had a sound digital infrastructure before the pandemic may have found it easier to transition to the disrupted world. Those that were able to communicate data among all parties in their supply chain through cloud technology, IoT, and other technological advances found it easier to shift suppliers, redirect goods, and ensure that customers’ orders were fulfilled.
To begin your company’s digital transformation, focus on tracking reporting KPIs and working with key suppliers. Choose the suppliers to track by how much you spend with them and how critical they are to your needs. Explore real-time options for real-time tracking of a supplier’s inventory and production. Once you’ve identified the Tier 1 suppliers, work with Tier 2 and 3 suppliers. The more visibility into your supply chain you have, the easier it is to adapt in the face of the unknown.
As government policies change, restrictions on imports and exports come and go, and other shifts occur due to politics or pandemic, digital transformation will make it easier for your company to locate and connect with suppliers who can fill your orders.
Other Benefits of Digital Transformation
Another benefit of transitioning to a digital environment for a manufacturing company is to respond quickly to customer demands. Sure, you can continue to make what you’ve always made and hope it sells. But what if you had your finger directly on the pulse of consumer demand?
Digital transformation brings the added benefit of agility. The ability to flex and pivot according to consumer needs and demands can help maintain sound financial footing during industry upheaval.
Going Digital in Supply Chain Management
Digital transformation adds clarity and visibility to supply chain management. It helps you prioritize vendors, adjust product output to meet consumer demand, and manage changing logistic scenarios in a world where companies deal with business on a day-by-day basis.
Other digital transformations can also help companies add resilience to their supply chains. Data and analytics, automation, and IoT are enhancing many logistic and shipping processes. IoT offers remote monitoring of goods in transit, enabling companies to pivot and adjust based on new information. It’s all part of the world of digital transformation.
Whether your company succeeds or not in the coming decade is up to you. Without the digital transformation of the supply chain, you’re likely to be left behind. Now is the time to explore adding new technology to your company to enhance visibility throughout the supply chain.
Emerald TC provides software and consulting for manufacturing companies. We can help you choose the right system for your needs and select other software packages for every type and size manufacturing company. Contact us or call 678-456-6919 for more information.