Organisations must embrace technology to tackle challenges

Research suggests that investments in technologies such as automation and robotisation will be a critical enabler to improve operational efficiencies

New research from Capgemini reveals that three-quarters of organisations have been impacted by closing facilities, supply chain disruptions, employee absence, and remote work in the past three years, and less than 20% of organisations feel equipped to handle the impacts of these changes. 

Capgemini Research Institute’s report, “How greater intelligence could supercharge supply chains”, explores how organisations across industries can leverage technology to create resilient, sustainable, and intelligent supply chains to navigate these disruptions and adapt in real time.

Greater focus on sustainability, global socio-economic changes, and shifting consumer demands has meant that organisations are facing considerable disruption to their supply chains. In this context, leaders’ most pressing concerns are reducing CO2 emissions across all tiers of the supply chain (95%) and growing e-commerce volumes (90%). Around 92% of organisations surveyed said that the ongoing relocation of the global supply chain will impact them but only 15% are equipped to deal with this.

Investing in supply chains now is critical for organisations to be prepared to meet future demands, cites the report. On average over the next three years, organisations plan to increase their investment in supply chain transformation by 17% and expect to double their business outcomes in terms of growth, profitability and sustainability.

The report highlights a need for organisations to design resilient, connected networks with integrated data-driven planning. It suggests that technology will be a critical enabler here, giving organisations access to real-time insights which in turn can enhance the ability to predict change and help them plan for possible future scenarios.

‘Supply chain masters’ – organisations defined as having displayed the ability to successfully balance multiple demands on their supply chain – are already reaping business benefits. The research found that this small cohort of respondents (9.5%) reported a 15% incremental growth in revenues, a 17% reduction in CO2 emissions as well as a 1.8 percentage point higher market share when compared with others.

Embrace automation and technology for robust management

As organisations plan to increase investments in supply chain transformation, the report suggests there will be considerable focus on change management and upskilling stakeholders. It will also be important to improve collaboration with ecosystem players (customers, suppliers, peers), as well as invest in automation and robotisation to improve operational efficiency and redeploy resources (such as customer interactions, analysis, dynamic planning and decision-making).

Building a composable, integrated, and customer-centric architecture will enable organisations to respond quickly and mitigate supply or fulfilment risks. This combines a transactional backbone and best-in-class industry solutions for execution, as well as data-sharing and collaborative platforms that break down silos, enabling end-to-end management of the supply chain. Integrating existing, otherwise-siloed supply chain management systems will enable organisations to collate, analyse and react to the huge volume of internal and external data that a network produces. The research found that supply chain masters stand out from other players by how quickly and accurately they complete this process of aggregating, analysing, and acting upon data. Those who adopt a centralised “control tower” approach, where data is collated in one cohesive and connected dashboard, will help break down silos within the supply chain network to provide end-to-end visibility that enables harmonised management.

“There are numerous building blocks that need to come together to create a future-ready supply chain network and provide differentiated offerings that customers are looking for,” comments Mayank Sharma, Global Supply Chain Lead at Capgemini. “The last few years have highlighted the need for organisations to build agile and resilient supply chains, not only to cope with disruptions but also to help them stay ahead of the curve, especially from a sustainability perspective.

“It is clear that there’s no one-size fits all solution, but organisations that lay the foundation for a data-driven, technology-enabled, scalable, and sustainable supply chain are the ones that will reap the most impressive returns in terms of driving improved customer loyalty, creating more business value and meeting sustainability goals.”

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