The digital supply chain, once more big talk than reality, will be emerging as a force for change in most procurement organizations over the next five years. A truly digital supply chain will improve processes even as it disrupts the way many procurement professionals do their jobs day to day. Some of the biggest opportunities may go to high-tech and electronics OEMS, since technology has the potential to tame the unprecedented levels of complexity in the supply chain.
"The supply chain is undergoing almost unparalleled levels of change. The older measures, productivity, quality, and service still apply, of course, but we now see the specter of digital transformation poised to change everything,” said Simon Ellis, program vice president, Global Supply Chain Strategies at market research firm IDC. “Whether it's the way that manufacturers and retailers plan, procure, or fulfil, digital transformation is both opening up new opportunities and presenting new challenges."
In fact, digital transformation may go from being the biggest buzzword to become the most important business strategy as efforts to get ahead of the competition increase demands for flexibility and visibility. Every aspect of the supply chain including planning, execution/fulfillment, procurement, and security, will like be reformed to the digital world. “We’ve seen the supply chain be more and more of the driver of future capabilities,” said Ellis. “By layering services on top of service, supply chains are being more efficient and more effective. A broader notion of digital transformation has taken root. Most manufacturers have a notion that they have to digitally transform to be relevant.”
In its recently released study titled IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Supply Chain 2018 Predictions, the market research firm looked into its crystal ball to make 10 data-based predictions for the supply chain over the next five years. The report also looked at the potential impact of these supply chain IT investments this year and beyond.
We sat down with Ellis to talk over the trends, with an eye toward how they might affect electronics original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), contract manufacturers, and other industry players. They key, Ellis stressed, is to make sure that technology serves clear business goals and measurably achieve something, whether reliability, visibility, or cost competitiveness. Click on the image below to start a slideshow of these predictions at our EPSNews sister site EBNonline.