Keys to Transitioning to A Digital Supply Chain

Posted by Land Link on May 16, 2018 3:03:16 PM

dscAccording to industry experts the biggest weapon a company must have to outperform its competitors over the next 3 years is the Digital Supply Chain. The DSC will dramatically improve revenue and reduce costs while delighting customers. There is little disagreement among logistics professionals that this is the direction supply chain technology is moving. The sheer magnitude of data involved in logistics transactions simply requires digitization for the effective management of the information and efficient operations. So, if we're all in agreement regarding the direction of our industry now is the time for shippers and transportation providers to implement the necessary protocols and personnel to be adequately prepared for the transition to digital based logistics technology. Let's examine the theory behind the DSC and what needs to be done to make the transition.

Defining the Digital Supply Chain

First, let's make sure we all understand what exactly a digital supply chain is. A DSC is defined as a customer-centric platform model that captures and maximizes the utilization of real-time data coming from a variety of sources. It enables data to be interpreted at tremendous speed and accuracy to optimize performance and minimize risk. There are several key considerations in transforming a supply chain to a digital supply chain. First and foremost is understanding your customer and the end consumer in a more sophisticated way by utilizing data analytics and advanced technologies. This micro level of customer analytics will aid in manufacturing cycles and inventory management.

Metrics Are A Key Element

There is no doubt that metrics is the best measurement of the performance of just about anything; sales, employee performance, or manufacturing. The data does not lend itself to speculation or predictions. It is fact. And in managing a supply chain the facts are what is necessary to make the most efficient planning decisions. So, in planning your digital supply chain strategy expect to base it on key performance metrics. Not only do metrics measure something or the results of something, the right metrics enable supply management professionals to drive positive changes in their company that can be measured, creating alignment between competing objectives. To quote a guy with close to half a century in this business "What does not get measured does not get fixed".  Transforming your supply chain to a Digital Supply Chain means adding new metrics to accurately measure the success of your efforts to drive change.

Determine What You Want to Measure

There are a myriad of supply chain metrics covering sourcing, inventory, manufacturing, warehousing, material handling, transportation, distribution and customer service. If you’re not careful you could easily find yourself over analyzing data that is not paramount in the supply chain process. To set a base line you’ll want to determine your business priorities. Whether you’re trying to measure service levels from your suppliers or the consistency of your plants’ operations, focus on the metrics that measure what is most vital to your business and can be reported and understood by management and shareholders.


To summarize the key informational components of the DSC the primary data is customer-concentric detail and specific metrics. The main objectives are to better understand your customers and their transactional relationships with their customers and suppliers. Also, to more precisely understand your manufacturing processes as they relate to your customers demand and to identify and implement key metrics measurement protocols to maximize the supply chain functionality. The DSC theory can be considered as a process in which mountains of data that is as accurate as humanly possible can be interpreted at the speed if light and generate a real time and sustainable supply chain game plan for minute by minute transactions and an efficient long-term operations protocol. Within this, perhaps overly simplified, summarization of DSC theory is a tremendous amount of data collection, metrics planning and management consulting to clearly understand and achieve the intended company goals. Given the critical nature of the information required and the need to be sure management is accurately measuring the right metrics the need for the council of true logistics professionals is key. The implementation of your company's Digital Supply Chain protocol will be a critical operation over the coming years. You must make sure it’s done right. Contact us today @ for that exact assurance.

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Topics: Supply Chain Management, Industry Trends, Big Data