Top 3 Drivers of Digital Transformation in Supply Chain Planning

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Mary Vasile: Hi, everyone. Welcome to Three Minutes in the Loop. The bite-sized video series, where you can stock up on the latest supply chain insights, strategies, and news, in the time it takes to get your caffeine fix. I’m your host, Mary Vasile, and today’s topic are the top three drivers of supply chain digital transformation. Our special guest is ToolsGroup’s Senior Director of Marketing and Communications, Jennifer Randall. Jen, welcome to Three Minutes in the Loop.

Jennifer Randall: Hi, Mary. Glad to be here.

Mary Vasile: So let’s dive right in. Supply chain leaders around the world are accelerating their digital transformation plans. Can you tell us why?

Jennifer Randall: Well, like nearly everything else, the COVID pandemic was a game changer for digital transformation plans because it exposed supply chain weaknesses like we had never seen before. So in our ToolsGroup CSCMP Digital Transformation in Supply Chain Planning survey, we saw some interesting things. First of all, 75% of respondents said that COVID impacted their digitization journey. And 42% said it actually accelerated their plans.

Mary Vasile: So those are some big numbers. So then what did you find were the top three drivers of digitalization plans within supply chain?

Jennifer Randall: Well, the first is keeping up with evolving customer behaviors and expectations. Post COVID, of course, there’s even more pressure to deliver what customers want, when they want it and where they want it. The second biggest driver we saw is the need to increase automation so that staff can focus on higher level, more strategic tasks.

We saw that 37% of respondents said that they have an AI project underway now or within the next 12 to 24 months. And finally, number three, the desire to improve overall business performance. It really boils down to that. Companies need to get a handle on supply chain challenges so that they can achieve their C-level goals for things like revenue, profit, cash flow, and product availability.

Mary Vasile: So, then what about technology? What technologies are helping push this digitalization?

Jennifer Randall: What we saw is that demand forecasting, inventory optimization, and SNLP were the top three technology projects underway. Demand sensing and order planning and replenishment were the top two technologies planned for rollout this year.

Mary Vasile: Yeah. And that makes sense. Those are certainly critical to success in supply chain planning.

Jennifer Randall: Absolutely. And we also found, interestingly, that executive leadership is crucial. Half of the firms that said they’re already reaping the benefits of digital planning, say their transformation is being led by their CEO. So this is just a snapshot, Mary. The full survey report is available on our website. You can just go to toolsgroup.com/resources, and you’ll find it under e-books.

Mary Vasile: Yeah. And our viewers should definitely go check it out. So thank you for that information, Jen. And thank you for joining us today.

Jennifer Randall: Thanks for having me.

Mary Vasile: And thank you for watching. Now you’re in the loop. We’ll see you next time.

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