The supply chain has been significantly disrupted with shortages and geopolitical events requiring companies to think differently about how best to manage their operational environments. This is where digitisation plays a critical role as it delivers the tools and data required to build agility and resilience into supply chains.
“Of course, the journey to digitisation is not something that happens overnight. Part of the transition is having the organisational will to make the changes necessary. Whether that is expanding scenario-planning capabilities, enhancing manufacturing performance and quality, and improving the ability to predict demand, the supply chain cannot continue to operate in the way it has been in the past,” says Antonio Calvo, senior manager, Global Retail and CPG Practice SAS.
According to the SAS Build supply chain agility through digitisation e-book, there are four strategies to consider for companies to inject resilience into their supply chain as they look to digitise legacy approaches.
(TOP: Antonio Calvo, senior manager, Global Retail and CPG Practice, SAS).
It starts with the acceleration of demand planning insights. Businesses must have all the right information, intelligence, and data in hand to understand the current environment and identify the best measures to respond with speed and agility. But this does not mean traditional systems and processes need to be ripped and replaced. Instead, it is blending what has worked with new, more relevant data sources. Think things like online search, point-of-sale insights, and syndicated scanner data, amongst others.
Secondly, companies must digitally connect factories to link supply chain planning, material needs, and production scheduling. Not even considering external environmental factors like on-shelf availability, creating a connected factory that provides an integrated data environment is invaluable for an organisation to look at maximising productivity and profitability.
“Digitisation is a great way for organisations to better understand things like human resource impacts such as wage increases and job automation. Linking this with the right analytical tools bring the ability to run sophisticated simulations that show impacts on production output and across the supply chain,” says Calvo.
From here, it is important for companies to digitally link partners across the supply chain. This creates the means to more dynamically collaborate, anticipate disruptions, and mitigate all potential impacts on the customer experience.
SAS is committed to the industry; we continue to build on our strategic partnership with Microsoft Azure and creating a rich network of supply chain expertise with ecosystem partners like project44 for the supply chain visibility; and with Cosmo Tech uniting analytics with digital twin simulation strengthens future performance in uncertain times.
Traditionally methodologies saw companies planning for product seasons in advance and just implementing those tactics. At best, any significant disruptions could only be dealt with by making minor adjustments. Digitising the process brings with it the ability to see predictive results. As such, companies can minimise any disruption and mitigate against external market forces as required.
Finally, organisations can foster sustainability by balancing profitability, people, and their responsibility to the planet by adopting supply chain practices. Sustainability is definitely something that needs a top-down approach. Locally, more businesses are focusing on environment, social, and governance (ESG) goals and pushing these initiatives throughout the value chain.
“Digitisation across the supply chain is something that cannot be ignored. As companies come under increased pressure to balance service levels with the cost of on-hand inventory, they are looking at more innovative ways of affecting change,” adds Calvo.
(You can download the Build supply chain agility through digitisation e-book).