With crisis comes opportunity. The opportunity after this crisis will be to build digital into the core of every company.
Businesses are looking for the best path forward from the impact of COVID-19, and executive teams are looking ahead and adjusting their strategies to succeed in this post-pandemic business environment.
There is a growing consensus between CXOs in prioritizing digitalization and leveraging the supply chain as a competitive tool. Given the economic turmoil, businesses must focus on their value proposition and align their priorities to achieve it.
Focusing on these three priorities will drive digital initiative investments in an unprecedented business environment:
- Business Growth
- Cost Optimization
- Business Agility
Digitalization is the key enabler of growth, optimization and agility, as it supports a more transparent, automated, intelligent and orchestrated end-to-end supply chain. There are unique technology components that organizations can employ to obtain these values.
Future markets will belong to digitally enhanced versions of today’s products or completely digital substitutes. Any digital investment that aids return to growth must be prioritized . New digital business models — including virtual stores or digitally enabled products (subscription-based, pay as you go) — will be essential to explore.
CXOs will have to thoroughly revisit their supply chain operating model to support new digital business models and digital products.
Organizations are placing greater focus than ever on financial matters, including profitability, cost management, efficiency and productivity.
Supply chain is often the function CXOs optimize to lower their company’s costs. CXOs are devising plans to leverage digitalization to optimize their supply chains further while protecting the supply chain from linear cost-cutting. There are three technology opportunities to optimize supply chain costs. The first is robotic process automation (RPA) to automate repetitive supply chain processes such as order management or supply contract management. Next, advanced analytics can help improve and automate supply chain decision making across several areas of the supply chain. Finally, collaborative/smart robots will further automate operations across factories, warehouses and distribution centers.
Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR) model Level 1 metrics
Digitalization represents an opportunity to improve performance for each of these metrics
Organizations that prioritized agility before the pandemic fared much better during the crisis. For others, the pandemic unveiled supply chain capability gaps that CXOs are now racing to cover. Agility brings speed, responsiveness, adaptability and resilience in supply networks and operations. It delivers critical capabilities that will allow companies to thrive in a non traditional business environment. A distinctive agile supply chain can sense and respond to unanticipated changes in demand or supply quickly and reliably, without sacrificing cost or quality. It is vital to improve customer experience and sustain growth.
To successfully articulate the business case for digital investment:
- Create the ambition for change — Obtain a highly connected, transparent supply chain with end-to-end supply chain orchestration
- Assess digital maturity — Estimate business benefits based on the current digital reality, data availability, processes, and IT legacy applications.
- Mix transformation with optimization — Envision the future supply chain and propose a mix of digital optimization and digital business transformation initiatives, keeping all three business priorities in mind: business growth, cost optimization and agility.
- Evaluate ROI – The business case should evaluate benefits against a range of business outcomes (short-term, long-term) and risks tied to eventual financial gains. Expectations of immediate monetary gains must be avoided.