One of the (many) lessons we’ve learned while living through a global pandemic is just how fragile the system actually is, just how vulnerable our way of life is and how quickly it can all come tumbling down around us.
Of course, from a business perspective, this is exactly why we carry out risk assessments, so we can ready ourselves for all eventualities and know that we’ll be able to carry on, despite external events that are well beyond our control. If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail, after all!
But, even with all these risk assessments, it’s probably fair to say that the vast majority of businesses were still relatively unprepared to deal with the fallout of the coronavirus crisis – and we all had to change the way in which we operated overnight, as the world around closed itself off to halt the spread of the virus.
This inevitably led to serious and significant disruption in the supply chains for brands big and small, across all industries and sectors.
No one was spared – but adapt or die, as they say, and while the pandemic was (and continues to be) incredibly difficult for businesses, it also represents an excellent opportunity to shake up your operations and make some positive changes across the board, ones that will help ensure your survival in the future… no matter what comes next!
What is certainly true is that if this wasn’t the digital age and if we weren’t blessed with the internet, the pandemic would have been nigh-on impossible for companies to get through…and this is something you should perhaps consider taking to heart, looking into how you can drive forward with digitalization of your operations to afford you even greater security in the future.
What is digitalisation?
Quite simply, digitalization is the conversion of all communications to electronic messaging in a way that is fully transparent to all those involved. It allows for automation and improvements in data quality so that you’re then able to apply advanced technology like smarter software to benefit your business.
Pandemic aside, this isn’t something you can really afford to ignore anymore, as this is where the whole world is heading… so to neglect it and continue as you have done in the past means you risk being left behind, watching as your competitors take bigger and bigger slices of your pie.
Digitalisation of the supply chain
Where the supply chain is concerned, digitalization will help ensure that every single link in the chain is fully visible, able to respond to the needs and changes of their counterparts. Supply and demand signals can originate at any point and be immediately visible in real-time so that businesses are better able to plan accordingly.
But it’s not just about being able to react to future disruptions – digitalization of the supply chain also means that you’re better able to anticipate them, whatever they may be, and make adjustments straight away, depending on the conditions you’re suddenly faced with.
The benefits of supply chain digitalisation
When everything is interconnected across the supply chain, you’ll start to reap all sorts of wonderful benefits for your brand, everything from reducing information lag to eliminating miscommunication.
You’ll find your wait times reduced significantly, with orders executed far quicker than before, you’ll be able to predict future requirements for your company thanks to more in-depth data collection and analysis, you’ll be able to protect your bottom line by eliminating any glitches in the supply chain that see you order too much stock, or not enough… the list goes on and on!
What this also does is put the customer at the heart of your business operations, ensuring that they’re nothing but happy with your goods and services, and never left dissatisfied by interaction with you.
How to go digital
The very first step to take is to gain a solid understanding of the current situation of your supply chain, assessing the risks that every supplier brings so you can come up with solutions for preventing potential complications.
Once you’re armed with this information, you can then take steps to implement preventative frameworks.
What you will need to make sure you have, however, is the right people on board – so make sure you’ve brought in the very best digital talent you can find, so you know you have the skills and expertise on hand to really make your digitalization strategy a roaring success.
Do you think you need the help of PLM consulting services at the moment? Get in touch with the Bombyx team to see what we can achieve together.