Throughout the last decade, several new terms emerged around the lifecycle of the supply chain – blockchain, cloud, IoT, and AI. While always around, digitalization became a frequent turn of phrase among shippers and providers alike to align the need for efficient operations to a technology-led term.
At its core, digitalization is the adaptation of technology to execute and maintain a core business process. Aligning technology to operational and strategic goals allows for lower costs and less manual engagement, which in turn leads to minimized errors and more data-driven decision-making.
With the supply chain gaps encountered during the pandemic, companies across the globe prioritized the visibility of the supply chain to continue to operate their business successfully. With the strive towards omniscient operations, companies sought digital resources to support that strategic vision. However, how a business adapted that technology was the true differentiator between the digital transformation of a company and technology-led operations support.
Successful companies use digital innovation, not as an aid to their operations, but as a fundamental pillar within their core values. These companies view technology, and the frequent evolution of its usage, as a requirement for driving growth within their business. From production and inventory management to delivery performance and product failures, all the way through predictive analytics and index trends – gainful technology allows for data collection, reporting, and root cause identification.
By engraining automation within operations, business owners utilize the accrued information for expedited, data-driven action. This allows operational flexibility for any obstructions to the business that occur.
Some shippers have a more rigid approach to supply chain disruptions due to less reliance on technology within their operations. These shippers can convert to a more digital business through identification, implementation, and integration: identification of the company’s strategic goals and the processes hindering the execution of that vision; implementation of the technology to drive those strategic initiatives; and integration of the company’s vision and foundational technology within the subprocesses and culture of the organization.
Despite the acceleration of many companies to adopt a more tech-focused approach to operations, the digital transformation of a company is not as simple as purchasing the latest technology to automate a process. The true transformation is the alignment of operational technology to the company’s strategic goals and the use of data to remain agile when faced with disruptions to that vision.
As more and more companies strive towards digitalization, it is important to prioritize how data innovation lends to a business’s growth. While data analytics allows for more informed and lower-risk decision-making, automating the entirety of a process can eliminate in-house expertise and risk service failures if the operational technology fails. Maintaining a balance between modernizing business practices through technology and implementing every novelty technology that comes into the market is key to longevity within the business’s market.
Heading into 2023, the term digitalization will transform from an industry buzzword to a standard practice for any company operating within the global supply chain. Increasing the fundamental involvement of technology in the business will allow companies to adapt to this changing landscape and will ensure businesses stay ahead as interconnectivity between companies continues evolving.
For more information please reach out to our team, today.
“Cultivating partnerships has always been a cornerstone of Rockfarm’s business model. Throughout our growth, we continually focused development on teams built to foster and support client relationships. From tactical control tower services to strategic account management, we position our partnership with shippers and brokers alike as an extension of their teams; marrying our clients’ own internal initiatives with Rockfarm’s logistics expertise to promote aligned solutions prioritized on growth and lowering our client’s cost to serve.”