Traditional supply chains are unreliable and, often, work on a logistics firm’s low-cost distribution model. The firm might have the right infrastructure to run the logistics operations but lack a proper digital infrastructure and, thus, access to necessary digital tools and analytics software to optimize the chain, obtain real-time data, shorten replenishment cycle times, optimize deliveries and predict future demand.

supply chain challanges

With the help of digital supply chains and owing to greater transparency in the logistics operations with the help of integrated fleet and asset tracking solutions and real-time information about the available stock, a logistics firm can, immediately, cut retail cycle times by 20%. Once the digitization is adopted in every phase of the cycle, it can reduce that time to 60%.

By introducing digital technologies into their supply, logistics firms can improve their service levels while cutting costs up to 30%.

total supply chain cost

Source: Bain and Company

An unexpected virtue of ignorance

Nevertheless, many logistics operators shy away from digitalization and seem content maintaining their traditional supply chain. This may work for some time. But in a long this is a business suicide.


What’s perhaps most disturbing is this that so many senior managers believe they’re doing a great job with their supply chains. More than 40% of those polled by Bain felt that they outperformed the competition in terms of service, cost, and asset utilization. What’s happening here?


Source: Bain and Company

Only 25% have what they would describe as full information on their supply chains; nearly 45% of respondents admit to having little or only basic data. In a separate finding, there is evidence that managers are reactive when it comes to the big picture. They are alert to the needs for accurate production planning and on-time parts-delivery forecasts. But, in a separate survey by the Compass & Garfield School of Management, less than half (45%) of the managers queried said they had “most elements” of a supply-chain strategy.

info about supply chain

Ignorance should not be bliss when it comes to supply-chain efficiencies

A 70% managers expect digital innovation to have a substantial influence on their supply chains during the next 5 years, as per a recent survey carried by Bain and company, up from just 63% in 2016.

digital tools retailers

Source: Bain and Company

In Bain’s survey, a third of CEOs are very self-confident about the capability of their supply chains to meet spikes in demand.

The perils of turning a blind eye are substantial:

  • higher operational costs
  • expensive eleventh-hour orders
  • a pileup of surplus inventory
  • wasted revenue prospects
  • misplaced sales
  • Unsuccessful new product rollouts.

supply chain end to end

Source: Bain and Company

Everything that matters and not

An upright place to jump when determining a digital policy is bring thoughtful of the industry context and the logistics firm’s origin. For instance, numerous firms start with obsolete, legacy IT systems. Substituting those with the state-of-the-art mass-produced digital tools can produce new source of revenue, raise responsiveness, grow efficiency, and decrease the entire cost of possession for IT infra.

Leading firms develop the ethos, data policies, and IT infra to back their digital strategy and business goals. They chase definite goals with short-term values while implementing a vibrant view of their digital point. And they are ready to pivot as their trade progresses.

An Ideal Future State

The key to create supply chains that will be profound in 5 -10 years is forestalling transformation. Logisticians contemplate where the business is going and recognize the supply chain abilities they want to get there.

Accurately, forestalling change is a calculated move into future. A fleet management solution can measure what their firm may look like in three, five and ten years. The 3-year idea is probable to be more tangible, while five-year and ten-year visions will be more on an abstract side.

For many vendors and FMCGs, for instance, it is evident that e-commerce has elevated customers’ outlooks and that outdated retail delivery and refill models are can’t meet the requests of their regulars who are demanding tinier lead times.

Effective firms duck incremental moves by visualizing just how risky the imminent might appear. Let’s say, what would occur if the whole business stirred from high sales margin to low sales margin or if it moved from ordinary products to custom products? These situations can support supply chain players classify what the firm would need to do in a different way and what new competences any such vicissitudes would mandate.

React vs Angular cta1

Identify the voids and loopholes

Finding the model future state for a supply chain permits logisticians to recognize lost abilities and start building them. In our knowledge, firms that make the exact small-term investments to raise supply chain presentation create substantial savings to fund longer investments.

Retailers place that practice to decent use when a mature supply chain shaped complications for its business. The business had underinvested in its supply chain for ages, and its undeveloped infrastructure was in meager state of affairs. Consequently, service was way mediocre to that of modern startups. 15% of the firm’s orders reached later than assured, and purchaser loyalty was corroding quickly.

The management team understood it must substitute its aged delivery centers with numerous high-performing ones, but it couldn’t pay for to make the complete investment in a single go. It initiated the switch rather with the 5 major distribution hubs, participating in digital tools and creating top-notch delivery processes.

The pilot enhanced service levels by twenty percent while lessening costs by twenty percent. The firm now wants to accomplish its performance goals in these facilities within 9-month, resolving many of its late-delivery complications and its repute for deprived service. Over the following 3 years, the warehouse management system will fill the voids, cutting supply chain outlays by twenty to thirty percent. Attaining that goal will generate a war chest to back further investments.

Filling the voids

Leading firms form a collection of short-term and long-term selections to help them fill the voids amid their present supply chain and the coming model state. E.g., they may ponder subcontracting elements of the supply chain to curtail the difficulty of rationing certain trades or sections. Otherwise, they may fill numerous voids via single common IT platform backing numerous businesses, with added focused abilities particular to a few business elements complementing this central joint system.

A nationwide food producer for provisions and convenience stores employed this tactic to improve falling sales number. The firm’s central problem was meeting demands with its engineering plan.

It needed info about which goods were selling fast and which ones were inactive on the shelf. Consequently, it was sluggish to yield and substitute out-of-stock stuffs. That led stores to shorten the shelf size they agreed to with the firm – a Catch-22 that was corroding sales.

A challenge after another

The firm planned numerous possibilities to advance its capability to meet customer demands. Capitalizing in improved projecting tools and procedures could improve precision but would not eradicate all fears. Cutting-edge industrial technology could lessen its cycle time, but the firm would still need to estimate item sales.

The management decided to capitalize on digital tools to join the salesforce and distribution team with essential arrangement and manufacturing. The new system recognized products that were selling almost in real time, providing both teams better discernibility into store demand. That, in order, aided it building the correct products to rapidly fill unfilled store shelves and rise sales numbers.


A complete guide to IoT in Logistics

A real-world example of how Smart Fleets make logistics operations a breeze to manage and supervise.

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