Businesses globally are striving to continuously increase revenue by increasing customer satisfaction. In the past, this was mainly achieved through timely product or service fulfilment. Today, however, most businesses recognize that it is no longer viable to rely solely on products or services and it is instead about managing your customers experiences. Companies like Amazon are already leveraging advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to develop these customer experiences.

In order to meet the challenges presented by a customer experience focused model, businesses are looking transform their supply chains. The successful transformation to the digital supply chain is more than just implementing new technologies; it is about transforming the organization as a whole in order to bring together the power of automation and analytics.

The largest obstacles to automating the supply chain comes from the decision makers being unclear about the benefits of these new technologies as well as concern for up-front implementation costs. In-order to make the most of these technologies these decision makers need to consider the benefits the digital transformation would mean for their business.

  1. Redesigning their supply chains to make it more modular, flexible, and willing to adapt will allow businesses to gain improved forecast accuracy for more accurate decision making.
  2. Point of sale data collection and gathering information across the entire value chain enables tracking of products and asses in order to quickly respond to customer needs and requirements.
  3. Allowing customers and partners to interact in a connected platform improves efficiency, effectiveness, and provides better insights into operation and process control while empowering employees to focus on higher value tasks.
  4. The ability to scale quickly in order to increase speed to market can lower costs to serve customers.
  5. Innovation enables organizations to navigate change and develop new and innovative ways of working while making today’s business relevant for tomorrow.

Unfortunately, all the hype around these advanced technologies has companies deploying them randomly without thought to the organization as a whole. This results in implementations generating isolated benefits instead of enterprise-wide value.

While starting small is a low risk way to evaluate the implementation and benefits of these advanced technologies it doesn’t necessarily mean they need to be implemented in isolated siloes. They should be implemented as part of a larger business strategy. In order for business to innovate their supply chains a balance will have to be struck. While this may sound risky there are real advantages to the adoption of next generation automation technologies. Not only will they experience the benefits listed above they will be ahead of the game and see gains in cost-competitiveness and market share.