- by Best Inc.
- November 1, 2020
As our reliance on the digital realm grows exponentially by the day, gone are the days where logistics functioned with an analog supply chain; in which tasks are completed mostly physically (i.e. placing orders through the phone, mail, or fax). In its place, we explore how important it is to implement a digital supply chain now, more than ever in the new norm, to optimize your business growth.
Noticeable Trend Changes
Commonly referred to as Industry 4.0, marking the 4th revolution in the manufacturing industry due to the digitization of manufacturing processes, companies have had to relook at the way their supply chain has been designed or planned. As a result, a number of different technologies have surfaced that would help improve on traditional planning methods.
In addition, taking into consideration mega trends, a consumer’s expectations, a plethora of product choices from which consumers can easily compare and decide from which platforms make their purchase on, competition has grown considerably steeper, especially in the last few years.
Consider this: How quickly can your product reach your target audience? How wide/individualized are your range of available products? How quickly can you adapt to present-time changes and update your product range based on your existing product planning?
To stay on top of competition, let us look at how introducing a digital supply chain (a.k.a. Supply Chain 4.0) can help when we are provided with real-time insight on our e-commerce sales:
Increased Accuracy & Efficiency
With a digitized supply chain, manual processes such as data entry, tracking of lead time required for different suppliers, updating shipping statuses for different orders would all be tracked and updated in real-time on a single platform, giving you a bird’s eye view of your multiple sales platforms.
With the advanced analytical tools and big data, these new technologies would also be able to help predict and forecast supply and demand; allowing a business to manage inventory and reduce profit losses made by forecast errors.
Quicker Delivery Time
Taking into consideration multiple data points such as current consumer trends, supply and demand, festive seasons, school holidays, or even the weather, these forecasting tools could help to shorten the amount of time required to fulfil and deliver your orders.
A good example would be Amazon, who already has a patent in place for a tool that can be used in future to predict the products required to be shipped. By analyzing the demand in a certain region, products are shipped towards that region, waiting to be re-routed to an exact destination once a customer has placed their order.
Meaning to say, with the right tools and services, your product could already be waiting for your customers before they even knew that they were going to buy it!
Increased Planning Flexibility
With analog supply chain, a typical planning process would include intervals (roughly a month) whereby the supply plan does not change even if there are situational changes (e.g. certain event has occurred or demand has changed).
However, a digital supply chain allows the business more flexibility in reacting to situational changes based on real-time data. For example, a sudden increase in demand for a specific product or maybe a certain product is suddenly in trend and customers are beginning to show interest in it.
With the above benefits in mind, your business could be looking at a cost reduction of up to 30%, a reduction in lost sales and inventory by 75% while ensuring your business grows ever more profitable, efficient, and flexible simply by integrating a digitized supply chain in your process.
To learn more, reach out to us today!