Digital Supply Chain Implementation; First Steps

Posted by Land Link Traffic Systems on May 20, 2021 9:55:46 AM

The digital supply chain has been in some form of patient implementation for several years. Covid changed that pace and ramped up implementation.

What is a "digital supply chain"? While there are several variations of the definition depending on who you are talking to, arguably it is most often described as the following: Application of technology to digitize and analyze data in an accurate and rapid manner to improve supply chain performance.

The benefits are many. Namely, rapid demand sensing enabled by machine learning and alternate data sources to lower inventory costs and improve fill rates. Agile omnichannel distribution enabled by real-time asset tracking to lower freight costs and improve on-time deliveries. And automated distribution centers and factories driven by robotics and 3D printing to lower production costs and improve yield. But companies are increasingly coming up against the operational limits of what they can achieve without the ability to better integrate and manage complex data flows across their systems. To successfully implement their plan to install systems going forward, companies are realizing they need to do things differently.

Most companies struggle, however, with scaling digital supply chain capabilities to run their end-to-end business. The key to success is to start with the business challenges, visibility, peer-to-peer access and ease of use. We’ll all have to learn and understand this technology. Some pushback is inevitable but manageable if the benefits are clearly demonstrated.

Getting Started

The adoption of digital technologies has surged in only a few short years, and trends point to a sustained acceleration going forward. Global cloud computing traffic grew eightfold from 2015 to 2017, to 8.6 zettabytes (ZB) annually, and could more than double again by 2021. During the same period, annual big data analytics traffic quadrupled to 1.2 ZB in 2017 and is expected to more than triple from there. Internet of Things (IoT) devices doubled from 2015 to 2017 to 10 billion and are predicted to reach 27 billion in 2021.

This project is not for the technological faint of heart nor is it a DIY attempt. Expert guidance will be critical in the effective implementation of digital components in your supply chain. Start simple by defining your supply chain weaknesses. Visibility across the supply chain and peer to peer access are popular hindrances affecting supply chain managers and the first implementation points. This allows complete visibility for all members of the chain. From here, you can explore Block Chain technology which supplies a verifiable chain of custody record. IOT and AI can be implemented in parts of your automated systems; this is where things get complicated.

It should not be assumed that digital transformation necessarily entails an end-to-end reengineering of the supply chain. The convenient aspect about transitioning to the digital platform is you can add on as needed once the basics are implemented. You will need some expert guidance to effectively plan the implementation steps. Mistakes will be expensive not only in cost but in system performance, customer relations and most of all time.

The logistics experts a Land Link Traffic Systems can kelp guide you through this process. Visit us today @

Here are a few points to consider when identifying your strategy.

1) What is the company's digital ambition level, or end vision, for the transformation when it is complete?

2) How does the company's current digital capabilities compare with that of the end vision?

3) What technologies and digital use cases are needed to close the gap between the two?

4) What would be the business impact of implementing those technologies and use cases on the organization?

We hope this helps you get started.

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Michael Gaughan
Technology Officer
Land Link Traffic Systems

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Topics: Third Party Logistics, Freight Bill Auditing, Logistics News