The supply chain of most companies is much more complex today than it was in the past. There are many reasons for this, but first and foremost is that digital champions are setting the standards. If same-day delivery is the norm in the industry, the competitors have to adapt, otherwise it won't be long before they are no longer competitors to be taken seriously! In many areas the market has transformed from a push to a pull market. Enterprises with a strong supply chain adapt to that.
Digitizing the entire delivery chain is then the next step. In a modern, high-performance supply chain, innumerable partners, suppliers and data sources are integrated and have to be managed – from the purchase of the raw materials all the way through to the point of sale! The "partner ecosystem" encompasses 3PL-, 4PL service providers, dealer-managed inventory, inventory management, sales data, planning and forecasting, data from predictive maintenance and much more. You can't do these things with an Excel table anymore!
The bad news is that there is no comprehensive end-to-end solution that you can install in one go and your digitization is complete! Digital transformation refers to an all-encompassing, successive, step-by-step conversion. Process chains and their data that cover the entire range of an OEM's activities have to be connected with each other entirely and digitally mapped. And that goes far beyond the limits of the company itself, because the external partners mentioned above are also part of this data integration!
The good news is that using new technologies, software and systems like Kinaxis, e2open, Servicemax, PTC, FIELDFORCE, SAP, Synchron, etc. and linking them to existing systems leads to more efficient systems and more relevant information! The data integration and digitization along the supply chain enables
- Costs and risks to be reduced,
- The clearest possible transparency to be gained over the entire supply chain,
- Capacities and goods flows to be planned perfectly in line with the expected requirements,
- The greatest speed and flexibility to be ensured,
- Maximum freedoms and minimal complexity
The following Top 6 steps have repeatedly proven their worth in digitization projects:
1. Identifying the success factors: What constitutes the success of a company?
A company's success factors, such as its speed, ability to deliver, extremely broad product range, price or cost leadership, etc., have to be clearly identified and defined in advance.
2. Segmenting and prioritizing the customers: Who and when?
Segmenting the customer base in an ABC analysis provides the basis for prioritizing the order in which the digital linking is to take place. A-customers are often integrated first because they account for most of the sales, while the "long tail" of C customers are not!