Why digital infrastructure is key to supply chain resilience

Organizations looking for flexibility and resilience of their provide chain should undertake expertise to innovate, resolve vital gaps within the provide chain and enhance customer support.

Biden Harris administration these days announce Its Freight Logistics Enchancment Enterprise (movement) that might be carried out to pilot the change of vital data amongst key stakeholders all through provide chains. The FLOW program goals to handle the inherent weaknesses that proceed to plague US provide chains, resembling a scarcity of funding in long-term resilience. Whereas this initiative is a constructive step ahead for enhancing provide chain resilience, it additionally underscores the more and more pressing want for contemporary digital infrastructure and transparency inside provide chains.

The overall lack of digital infrastructure inside provide chains permits for persistent points affecting workers, provide chain companions and their clients. Thus, organizations should develop their strategy to guard their provide chain from shocks in opposition to ongoing fluctuations and dangers. This text will discover why digital infrastructure that gives real-time perception and intelligence right down to the unit stage is vital to enabling administration’s present objectives of constructing resilient provide chains.

See additionally: Anatomy of the digital twin of the provision chain

Challenges affecting trendy provide chains

Amazon’s 2-day delivery promise is driving a development that has resulted in shoppers altering their expectations of how they purchase and obtain merchandise, with 90% From shoppers states that two to 3 days delivery needs to be the first supply promise. Prospects count on shorter lead occasions, transparency in product arrival, elevated customization to their particular preferences and wishes, and improved sustainability. Organizations that can’t pivot shortly and supply clients with constant contact factors can danger dropping buyer loyalty and income to a competitor.

On the similar time, provide chains have change into extremely interconnected. A number of companions and suppliers are concerned each step of the best way to supply uncooked supplies, transportation providers, and extra. As provide chains proceed to maneuver, corporations wrestle to maintain monitor of their items and sometimes lose a big quantity of revenue from product wastage. In reality, 40% Of all meals waste in the USA, it happens probably the most within the provide chain. To keep away from dropping revenue both from competitors or wastage, organizations should proceed to innovate utilizing trendy expertise that exposes gaps and weaknesses inside provide chains.

Legacy programs misplaced for provide chain disruption

Provide chain executives are coping with growing provide chain disruption attributable to financial instability, operational disruptions attributable to unavailability of sources, labor shortages, delays in suppliers and logistics companions, and uncertainty about demand. In reality, although the quantity of worldwide provide chain disruptions elevated by 88% from 2020 to 2021, Greater than half of organizations nonetheless lack end-to-end provide chain visibility and as a substitute depend on legacy data-tracking strategies, resembling hand-drawn photos of provide chains, to make vital enterprise selections. These “time limit” approaches are based mostly on outdated data from information warehouses, lack contextual data, and usually are not capable of present real-time updates that share perception into the precise state of products as they transfer by way of the chain of possession. Moreover, legacy programs typically solely monitor delivery containers moderately than every particular person product unit. Legacy programs create extra obstacles for enterprise leaders and impede their skill to attain provide chain resilience. Choices should transfer from “time limit” to “all time,” whereas nonetheless withdrawing from the underlying truth and leveraging expertise to mannequin what may occur, reaching the very best outcomes earlier than disruptions trigger impacts, thus mitigating as a lot danger as potential.

Investing in digital infrastructure

Roughly 80% Provide chain leaders should undertake digital planning and processes to extend provide chain visibility and enhance their skill to make knowledgeable strategic enterprise selections. It’s clear that the necessity for contemporary provide chain expertise will solely proceed to develop as provide chains change into extra complicated. By digitizing their provide chain, enterprise leaders can perceive the place waste is happening and the way it may be decreased sooner or later by anticipating disruptions earlier than they occur. Furthermore, corporations can share real-time updates with their clients relating to the precise location of their merchandise and the anticipated time of arrival. For instance, digital twin expertise can present a further layer of visibility to produce chains by leveraging information from vendor monitoring programs, resembling container tilt or temperature, to develop a visible illustration of a corporation’s provide chain. Digital perception into their provide chain can allow enterprise leaders to create strategic playbooks with “what if” situations and make knowledgeable selections early.


Whereas FLOW is step one to enhancing data change between stakeholders in provide chains, the movement of products might be improved by way of a digital infrastructure that gives real-time insights and permits higher preparation and planning for unpredictability and volatility. Authorities initiatives like FLOW assist pay extra consideration to produce chain points and show the necessity for a holistic view from manufacturing right down to the final mile. Organizations looking for resilience and resilience of their provide chains should undertake expertise to innovate, resolve vital gaps in provide chains, and enhance customer support—all of that are important to right this moment’s operations.