Why digital infrastructure is key to supply chain resilience

Organizations looking for flexibility and resilience of their provide chain should undertake know-how to innovate, remedy crucial gaps within the provide chain and enhance customer support.

Biden Harris administration just lately announce Its Freight Logistics Enchancment Enterprise (stream) that will probably be applied to pilot the trade of crucial info amongst key stakeholders all through provide chains. The FLOW program goals to deal with the inherent weaknesses that proceed to plague US provide chains, similar to a scarcity of funding in long-term resilience. Whereas this initiative is a optimistic step ahead for enhancing provide chain resilience, it additionally underscores the more and more pressing want for contemporary digital infrastructure and transparency inside provide chains.

The final lack of digital infrastructure inside provide chains permits for persistent points affecting workers, provide chain companions and their prospects. Thus, organizations should develop their method to guard their provide chain from shocks in opposition to ongoing fluctuations and dangers. This text will discover why digital infrastructure that gives real-time perception and intelligence all the way down to the unit degree is crucial to enabling administration’s present objectives of constructing resilient provide chains.

See additionally: Anatomy of the digital twin of the provision chain

Challenges affecting trendy provide chains

Amazon’s 2-day delivery promise is driving a pattern that has resulted in shoppers altering their expectations of how they purchase and obtain merchandise, with 90% From shoppers states that two to 3 days delivery ought to be the first supply promise. Prospects anticipate shorter lead instances, transparency in product arrival, elevated customization to their particular preferences and wishes, and improved sustainability. Organizations that can’t pivot shortly and supply prospects with constant contact factors can danger shedding buyer loyalty and earnings to a competitor.

On the identical time, provide chains have gotten extremely interconnected. A number of companions and suppliers are concerned each step of the way in which to offer uncooked supplies, transportation providers, and extra. As provide chains proceed to maneuver, corporations battle to maintain monitor of their items and sometimes lose a major quantity of revenue from product wastage. The truth is, 40% Of all meals waste in the US, it happens essentially the most within the provide chain. To keep away from shedding revenue both from competitors or wastage, organizations should proceed to innovate utilizing trendy know-how that exposes gaps and weaknesses inside provide chains.

Legacy programs misplaced for provide chain disruption

Provide chain executives are coping with growing provide chain disruption attributable to financial instability, operational disruptions attributable to unavailability of sources, labor shortages, delays in suppliers and logistics companions, and uncertainty about demand. The truth is, although the quantity of worldwide provide chain disruptions elevated by 88% from 2020 to 2021, Greater than half of organizations nonetheless lack end-to-end provide chain visibility and as a substitute depend on legacy data-tracking strategies, similar to hand-drawn photos of provide chains, to make crucial enterprise selections. These “cut-off date” approaches are primarily based on outdated info from information warehouses, lack contextual info, and usually are not in a position to present real-time updates that share perception into the precise state of products as they transfer via the chain of possession. Moreover, legacy programs typically solely monitor delivery containers slightly than every particular person product unit. Legacy programs create further obstacles for enterprise leaders and impede their capacity to realize provide chain resilience. Choices should transfer from “cut-off date” to “all time,” whereas nonetheless withdrawing from the underlying reality and leveraging know-how to mannequin what would possibly occur, attaining the absolute best outcomes earlier than disruptions trigger impacts, thus mitigating as a lot danger as doable.

Investing in digital infrastructure

Roughly 80% Provide chain leaders should undertake digital planning and processes to extend provide chain visibility and enhance their capacity to make knowledgeable strategic enterprise selections. It’s clear that the necessity for contemporary provide chain know-how will solely proceed to develop as provide chains grow to be extra advanced. By digitizing their provide chain, enterprise leaders can perceive the place waste is happening and the way it may be diminished sooner or later by anticipating disruptions earlier than they occur. Furthermore, corporations can share real-time updates with their prospects concerning the precise location of their merchandise and the anticipated time of arrival. For instance, digital twin know-how can present an extra layer of visibility to produce chains by leveraging information from vendor monitoring programs, similar to container tilt or temperature, to develop a visible illustration of a corporation’s provide chain. Digital perception into their provide chain can allow enterprise leaders to create strategic playbooks with “what if” eventualities and make knowledgeable selections early.


Whereas FLOW is step one to enhancing info trade between stakeholders in provide chains, the stream of products could be improved via a digital infrastructure that gives real-time insights and permits higher preparation and planning for unpredictability and volatility. Authorities initiatives like FLOW assist pay extra consideration to produce chain points and display the necessity for a holistic view from manufacturing all the way down to the final mile. Organizations looking for resilience and resilience of their provide chains should undertake know-how to innovate, resolve crucial gaps in provide chains, and enhance customer support—all of that are important to at the moment’s operations.