Current Issues

Regular Industry Development Updates, Opinions and Talking Points relating to Manufacturing, the Supply Chain and Logistics.

Building a digital transformation maturity model - a GPS for the supply chain transformation journey

01-Nov-2017
Building a digital transformation maturity model - a GPS for the supply chain transformation journey
One of the hardest things to watch is your industry getting eaten from the inside as the slow inability to change paves the way for new competition and digital business models to disrupt and diminish your industry’s role in the world. But such is the era we live in, where digital technologies have democratized business, and made it easier, faster, and less costly for anyone with a good idea to build a successful business.

Digital transformation maturity model
History is littered with examples of these disruptive changes. Brick-and-mortar retail and the rise of ecommerce, printed newspapers versus online, yellow cabs, and Uber. While old business models still coexist with the new ones, their influence has been reduced by newer, more accessible, and digitally-powered businesses. And countless hours and dollars have been spent trying to figure out how to stay relevant as customer tastes shift.

Change isn’t easy. Especially from within an enterprise, where transforming even the most menial of processes feels like moving mountains. But as we like to say, no enterprise is an empire unto itself. Today’s businesses rely on the partnership and coordination of many different suppliers, factories, carriers, and financiers to serve their customers on a global scale.

Indeed, the supply chain, where 80% of the data needed to run a business is ripe for change. And new digital technologies are changing the world of operations and logistics fast. Still for many, the question remains, “Where do I begin?”

The answer isn’t always easy. And no two journeys are alike. Digital transformation of the supply chain doesn’t magically happen with a flash and a bang, but with careful consideration toward an enterprise’s employees, its trading partners, and all of its key stakeholders down the line.

As with any journey, digital transformation of the supply chain is easier when you have a GPS. And while no two destinations are quite the same, many share similar characteristics – waypoints and landmarks along the way. It’s not just about measuring success (no one goes the same speed), but progress toward a specific outcome over time.

A maturity model is one way to think about your organization’s progress toward digital supply chain transformation. Rather than forcing change for the sake of change, or work toward a desired goal but with no sense of where to begin, this type of approach helps bring perspective to the many challenges that need to be addressed over time. As we think of it, digital transformation happens across four phases:

Stage 1: Intra-enterprise visibility
Transformative journeys begin with communication, especially within the four walls of an enterprise. The first step is all about aligning systems and processes internally in order to eliminate departmental and functional silos within the business. While it may seem low value, many executives would be surprised at how many internal challenges an assessment might show.

Stage 2: Networked supply chain
It’s said that individual businesses don’t compete – their supply chains do. Success today depends upon orchestration across the extended value chain. Traditionally, many enterprises have leaned on EDI for visibility across individual business partners, or data from a third-party logistics provider for comprehensive transportation visibility. But point systems don’t show the big picture, and logistics partners don’t always have information that covers the supply chain at great depth. To truly extend visibility and communications across the supply chain, all partners and suppliers must be connected across the same network, sharing a single view of the truth.

Stage 3: Customer integrated
End-to-end supply chain visibility opens up new possibilities to collaborate, improve/streamline processes, and turn insight into action. Businesses at this stage of maturity have a better sense of what customers want and when they want it; they gain the ability to sense and respond to demand patterns. At this stage, enhanced analytics and business intelligence turn insight into action through increased automation of systems, effectively extending systems like ERP or PLM beyond the four walls of the enterprise

Stage 4: Predictive
The first three stages of supply chain digital maturity are all about breaking down silos and building out a network of connected, integrated, and responsive nodes across the global supply chain. This stage builds upon all of the preceding work, truly taking a business into the future – the network itself, fully connected to suppliers and demand signals, with enhanced automation and connectivity across, becomes predictive.

What Technologies Will Get You There?
With this view of transformation in mind, it’s worth noting that no single piece of hardware or software solves the problem, getting businesses to that desired end state. It takes a village, so to speak – not to mention the flexibility and extensibility of a cloud-based platform to deliver the type of change most enterprises need in order to stay relevant in an increasingly digital future.

But as businesses evolve and adopt more of the technology needed to drive digital transformation, they will begin to see greater benefits across the supply chain. Remember: no two journeys are a like. But with a good GPS and the right mix of communication and collaboration across the extended supply chain, businesses can drive truly meaningful change.

To learn more about the digital transformation maturity model, please download the report.

With the Intelligent Enterprise, SAP Creates “A Completely Different Kind of Flexibility”
3 days ago
The supply chain is only as strong as its weakest link
4 days ago
‘A revolution happened in the way we buy services last week – and no one has noticed!’
5 days ago
Hot Topics at GS1 Connect? Labeling, Blockchain and More
5 days ago
Retailers must Embrace Change
6 days ago
Labeling Solutions That Bridge Islands of Data
1 week ago
My Journey to the World’s Most Important Gathering of Supply Chain Leaders
1 week ago
Workforce of the Future
2 weeks ago
Securing your supply chain against political uncertainty
2 weeks ago
On-demand warehousing could help retailers score big this summer
2 weeks ago
Half of organisations set for major procurement and supply chain AI investment within two years
2 weeks ago
Brexit, the weather & online shopping: How Britain’s favourite conversations are shaping supply chains
2 weeks ago
The Road to Regulatory Compliance for Your Supply Chain Labeling
2 weeks ago
The War on Packaging
3 weeks ago
Five data dramas that keep your CIO awake at night
4 weeks ago
As sales fall new report finds many department stores’ websites suffer from clunky integration and poor delive
1 month ago
Got Your Surfboards Ready to Master the Wave of Digitalization?
1 month ago
TrustArc to Offer IAPP Privacy Core® GDPR Training to Address Compliance Requirements
1 month ago
The Market has never been Stronger for Horizontal and Vertical API Platforms
1 month ago
Selecting the best Transport Management System - One of the most important logistics decisions you’ll make
1 month ago
“Digital Transformation” and Supply Chain Planning
1 month ago
Coolest Advice for Making Blockbuster IoT Devices?
1 month ago
The Fall of ‘Made in China’
1 month ago
How can artificial intelligence help the food industry?
1 month ago
Streamlining Operations With Waveless Picking
1 month ago
Creating a common standard for the fashion supply chain…
1 month ago
5 Steps to Improve Your Business’s Supply Chain
1 month ago
Procurement is joining the dots with technology to achieve greater strategic benefits
1 month ago
Don’t get red-carded shipping World Cup items into Russia
1 month ago
Trash talk: how waste management could become an engine for business growth
1 month ago
Could consumers drive a business tech revolution?
2 months ago
Jungheinrich Opinion: The Connected Engineer
2 months ago
Debunking the myths of the Hybrid Cloud
2 months ago
How to Future-Proof a Retail Business
2 months ago
How Enterprise Label Solutions Streamline Supply Chain Management
2 months ago
Ignorance 4.0? UK manufacturing and engineering competitiveness at risk from lack of knowledge
2 months ago
Untangling S&OP and S&OE
2 months ago
The ghosts of retail past, present and future
2 months ago
How to safeguard customer loyalty using digital platforms
2 months ago
The last mile starts with a single step
2 months ago
How citizen developers can speed up business app development
2 months ago
RFID – The missing link in customer insight
2 months ago
Turning blockchain into a real supply chain advantage
2 months ago
Achieving a Sustainability-Centric Retail Model
2 months ago
Gartner Says Global IT Spending to Grow 6.2 Per Cent in 2018
2 months ago
Monster opportunity: the Vampire Economy will take wings this year with late night deliveries
2 months ago
Falsified Medicines Directive: What are the practical considerations for wholesalers and Logistics Partners?
2 months ago
UK manufacturing sees solid growth in March
2 months ago
Elevating IT in financial services
2 months ago