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Using Technology to Achieve Next Generation Supply Chain Performance Faces Challenges

Posted May 19, 2016

Nearly 80% of supply chain professionals are focused on leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT)and Big Data, as well as reimagining existing logistics practices to increase speed and agility in today’s omni-channel world, according to a new study by SC Digest in conjunction with software solution provider and consultancy JDA Software Group, Inc.

The benchmark survey of more than 200 supply chain professionals found that of the 78% of respondents who report they are aggressively pursuing strategies for digitization specifically in the area of supply chain management, 37% consider this a major initiative and over 65% of those surveyed believe that becoming highly digitally engaged will provide them with a significant competitive advantage.

“At JDA, we refer to digitization as the process of using technology advancements linked with physical and digital assets to redefine and reimagine current business practices to create a significant competitive advantage,” said Fred Baumann, group vice president, Global Manufacturing Industry Strategy at JDA.

“For companies challenged by today’s fast-paced, hyper-competitive, omni-channel environment, most view supply chain technology as a key enabler of the speed, agility, resilience and customer responsiveness they need to remain competitive, drive greater revenue, profit and efficiencies across their operations,” Baumann said.

The respondents surveyed believe they can drive the greatest value from digitization by leveraging technology for: improved supply chain visibility; advanced analytics; systems integration with trading partners; and internal systems integration.

There’s an incredible amount of attention being paid to the Internet of Things, defined as the network of physical objects that contain embedded technology for communication and sensing. In the study, 44% of respondents view IoT as a major opportunity to improve supply chain performance and reduce costs by improving real-time inventory visibility, better understanding product flows, and increasing machine/production monitoring.

Although professionals in the study place great importance in supply chain digitization as a future capability most admit that their company could improve in its current focus. Only 10% of those surveyed report that their business actually has a holistic digitization strategy in place today. Among the 41% of those currently working to develop one, the most significant barriers to digitization cited were the lack of: internal systems integration; clarity about what to do; available IT resources and budget; understanding the return on investment; and prioritization by executives.

Click here to download the survey data and go here to obtain the accompanying whitepaper titled “The Future Is Now: Harnessing the Power of Digitization to Drive Greater Supply Chain Performance,” along with other resources.