Brian Dooley, Director, AIMMS SC Navigator

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Dispelling the myths that block supply chain transformation

There is a happy path to mastering supply chain analytics and digital transformation.

 

Companies are aware of the value that analytics and digital transformation can bring to their supply chain. Yet a recent survey by CSCMP’s Supply Chain Quarterly found that only 28 per cent of companies are in the “developing” stage, with one or more analytics initiatives underway.

 

So what’s happening with the remaining 72 per cent of organisations? There are three misconceptions which often slow or halt progress in this area:

 

• Cost

 

• Talent

 

• Seeing analytics adoption as a distraction from day to day tasks

 

Cost 

 

Supply chain professionals often think that advanced analytics is out of reach for their organisation. But with advances in computing technology and solutions migrating to the cloud, analytics tools have become a lot more affordable than they were in the past. Large infrastructure is no longer necessary. In most cases, the investment required will pale in comparison with the cost savings the organisation can gain by using its data in a smart way.

 

Talent 

 

The second biggest issue is the idea that you need a large team of data scientists. There is no doubt that the skills of the past are no longer enough to meet the demands of today’s digital environment, and there is certainly a talent shortage. Data-related skills are in high demand in the UK and those positions are getting harder to fill. Setting up a training programme to upskill existing employees and working with vendors that develop solutions for functional supply chain users can go a long way to help organisations overcome the talent shortage.

 

Is analytics a distraction?

 

Too often, organisations see digital transformation as a distraction rather than a paradigm shift that will undoubtedly impact their operating model. Supply chain transformation is not a distraction, and it’s not a project that can be outsourced. To capture the benefits, you need to get buy-in from corporate-level sponsors and you need the commitment of your team. It’s important to acknowledge that transformation requires a culture change. The benefits of this change are compelling. Advanced analytics can not only deliver the insights to help your team become more proactive and less reactive, they also make their work easier and more engaging.

 

Start small, learn by doing and choose an enabling technology that you can test with your own data. This will ease the transition for everyone involved.

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