How digital is the Supply Chain Industry?

Across the globe, supply chains are considering which technologies will have the biggest impact on the success of their business. Some supply chains have even begun to implement a variety of technologies in the hope of making their chain more efficient and sustainable. We recently surveyed over 100 senior supply chain professionals to gain an in-depth understanding of current maturity levels of digitalisation and automation across the industry, as well as the top digital trends for the year.

“It makes sense to have technology innovation as one of the main priorities; technology is here and needs to be used to help the industry face the rest of the challenges. This is how I see new technologies, not as a challenge, but as an opportunity to help companies face the real challenges.”
- Angel Caja, Operations and Supply Chain Director, Jotun

While 61% of respondents still classified themselves as immature when it came to the levels of digitalisation and automation in their supply chains, almost 2% of respondents now classify themselves as advanced and 37% as mature. There is still a clear variation between the levels of maturity but almost half of all companies surveyed are making significant steps when it comes to digitalisation and automation. Technologies such as  the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data are helping supply chains to make their supply chains more efficient, visible and integrated; with IoT offering a platform to connect different aspects of the chain and Big Data ensuring that the chain has all the statistics and information needed to ensure operations run smoothly.

It therefore comes as no surprise that the Internet of Things (IoT) is set to be the biggest supply chain trend for 2019. The technology is already having a huge impact across a number of industries and with supply chains fighting to become completely integrated, businesses should focus on perfecting their use of this technology over the coming year. Other technologies ranked highly among the biggest trends. Blockchain, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) all ranked just behind IoT, showing that digitalisation really is at the front of the supply chain industry’s mind.

Though there are big steps that need to be taken in order for the supply chain industry to fully utilise digital technologies. The results of our survey have shown that the tools are at the forefront of a large percentage of business strategies. Here are the full results relating to supply chain digitalisation:

Supply Chain Industry Week 2019 offers an opportunity to discuss the impact of digitalisation as well as what digital technologies will best impact specific industry areas with thought leaders, senior supply chain professionals and insiders who have experienced the impact of a digital supply chain. Learn more about the event by downloading our event guide.

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