Estimated reading time: 1 minute, 45 seconds

digital-consumersWe are in an increasingly digital world. Consumers are attached to their mobile devices everywhere they go, and the companies they buy from are racing to become their favorite brands. These companies are raising their digital battle cries as they attempt to connect with their audiences. And at the enterprise level, the move is on to ‘become digital.’ What does that mean for supply chain participants?

Actually - I think the sudden realization that companies need to digitize themselves in order to become or remain relevant is old news for those of us in the supply chain. That’s not to say that suppliers and customers don’t still struggle with the processes. Overall, larger trading partners are already digital. The struggle is for smaller companies to adopt the technologies that can move them into the efficiencies of the supply chain.

Consumers are leading the way in the digital economy. They search for products online, check competitive prices, and then buy online. They control when and where they receive the products they’ve purchased digitally, and track shipments on their computers. The consumer has digital expectations and increasingly believes that every action that transpires behind their taps and clicks is also a digital chain of events.

While most consumers never really think about how their orders arrive, the fact that they are know how easy it is to interact with their online orders means that they are likely to believe that the rest of the supply chain is equally digitally connected.

As we collectively look toward next year and the challenges it will bring, we will continue to face the same issues. Integrating legacy systems with new ones:

  • Finding the properly trained employees to manage the changes
  • Taking advantage of the lowering costs of computing
  • Transforming our paper processes to digital processes
  • Doing all these things and also keep our businesses running - profitably

The only certainty is that successful companies (the ones that will be successful in the future) will find ways to migrate their businesses (not just their processes) to connect with the digitized world. The rest will struggle. Last modified on Monday, 01 December 2014
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