Digital supply chains accelerating because of COVID-19
It’s no secret that the global effects of COVID-19 have rocked industries for the last year and the supply chain is one of the most drastically affected industries to date.
While many have tried to digitize the supply chain in recent years, many so-called “links” in that chain were still dedicated to using paper for tracking, forecasting, and overall managing of their supply chains. That is, until the pandemic. The coronavirus has forced supply chains to join the digital revolution probably a bit sooner than some would have preferred.
The truth is, while forced by a pandemic, digitization within the supply chain will make it more sustainable and more efficient. Paper and manual processes are a cog and create problems throughout the entire supply chain.
According to Supply & Demand Chain Executive, “a well-architected supply chain model is supported by agility, sustainability, predictability and traceability. These four pillars are known as terrifying enablers for which the companies are strivings to renovate infrastructure. These factors can enhance data visibility, which can lead to improving transparency across the complete supply and value chain of the company. Moreover, transparency brings numerous benefits including the capacity to attain intermediate and long-term sustainability goals,” it reads.
There are at least three major advantages we’re seeing of supply chains moving toward digitization:
- More efficiency-information is transmitted more rapidly, and it doesn’t require a physical chain of communication that could get lost or accidentally destroyed.
- Better accuracy-manual processes and paper trails are more likely to have mistakes introduced through the chain. It’s also easier to match digital records to physical freight.
- More transparency-Digital records are easier to share with each partner in the supply chain, including the end-user.
Like any advancement, digital supply chains do not come without potential threats. The rush to digitize has also encouraged the growth of security measures and other ways to create a safer, more secure supply chain.
Industry experts from manufacturers to final mile delivery providers like On Time Logistics agree that post-COVID circumstances will lead to even more digitization. We are already using many digital programs to help track and monitor our shipments, which only provides value to our consignees and clients.