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The Way Digital Transformation Courses Apply to Modern SCM

Digital transformation courses

Author: Dr. Tshepo Mbotja 

Digitalisation has changed the way businesses handle their supply chains. Processes are running smoother than ever, and customers are reaping the benefits. They’re getting faster deliveries and better products. 

However, for the digitisation of the supply chain to be successful, it needs to be understood and managed by professionals. MANCOSA offers Digital Transformation Courses that’ll help you understand how digital transformation can be incorporated into a company’s supply chain strategy. 

This article will explain what digital transformation in supply chain management is, how it benefits consumers and companies, and give you some examples of companies that incorporated digital transformation into their supply chains. 

What is digital transformation in the supply chain?

In recent years, the supply chain industry has seen many developments. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, many SA companies’ supply chains underwent severe disruption. This resulted in decreased customer satisfaction and a massive loss in profits. 

As a result, market leaders were forced to revamp their operations strategy and embrace digital transformation within the supply chain to prevent future disruptions. And so, businesses across several industries are adopting advanced technologies into their processes, including: 

  • Blockchains
  • Intelligent automation 
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning
  • And more

Technologies such as RFID, GPS, and sensors have helped businesses transform their traditional supply chain structures into more open, flexible, and collaborative digital models.

This has led to several improvements in the supply chain, including streamlined operations, accurate inventory management, and enhanced customer service. 

The key components of digital transformation training & SCM

Here are some technologies that are making the most significant impact on the supply chain industry worldwide. 

  • Cloud computing: Cloud technology allows businesses to use a wide range of IT resources without building and maintaining the infrastructure. They get to use and deploy the technology as needed instead of investing in additional servers that they may only need for a limited time. 
  • Internet of Things (IoT): The IoT comprises physical devices with remote sensors to capture and transform large amounts of data. This helps in forecasting, inventory management, improved decision-making, asset tracking, and more.
  • Artificial intelligence: Some technologies, such as warehouse management systems, use artificial intelligence for data-driven decision-making. This enables automated supply chain management where companies can automate production planning, predictive maintenance, and more. 
  • Blockchains: Blockchain technology ensures that all transactions are recorded, validated, and encrypted. They replace outdated, slow, and manual processes — strengthening tracing and ownership of goods. This also ensures heightened security and immediate transmissions.  
  • Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software: PLM software manages data and processes at each stage of servicing, sales, and production across the supply chain. It helps companies get better quality products into the hands of their consumers quicker. 

Benefits of digital supply chain management

There are many advantages to incorporating technologies into the supply chain. Not only does it result in greater efficiency in supply chain processes, but it has many other benefits too. These include, but aren’t limited to: 

  • Improved communication and collaboration

Supply chain processes can’t be effective if there’s a lack of communication between the different facets of the chain. Since the supply chain consists of complex networks, there must be synergy. 

Technology allows instant connection between employees and supervisors and constant visibility throughout the manufacturing process. 

  • Increased cost efficiency

Whether eliminating paper processes, implementing standardised administrative procedures, or redeploying resources, digitisation and automation in logistics and supply chain management reduces costs. While it may take an initial investment to incorporate the technologies, it’ll result in massive savings in the long run. 

Also, with the help of a digital supply chain, companies can reduce their capital requirements and improve cash flow since less money is spent on keeping excess stock in the warehouses. 

  • Enhanced customer satisfaction

Due to increased efficiency and enhanced speed of processes, companies can deliver better quality products to their customers. 

Customers also don’t have to wait as long for their products since technology allows the processes to run quicker — resulting in faster production and delivery. This leads to higher customer satisfaction and, consequently, more sales. 

  • Better forecasting

Instead of operating on a reactive basis, digital supply chains allow businesses to predict future requirements. 

As more data is collected and analysed, businesses will start to see patterns and behaviours that could help them determine the following: 

-How much stock is needed

-Which areas have the highest level of purchases

-What products are popular

  • More transparency

Transparency is vital to ensuring the proper handling of supply chain operations. Technologies allow employees and supervisors to be aware of what’s happening in each stage of the process so that they can intercept when necessary. 

Transparency also extends to the customers since they can check on the status of their packages and deliveries.

Digital transformation examples

Several big companies have implemented digitisation into their supply chains. Here are a few of them and how they approached the transformation. 

  • Amazon invested in artificial intelligence and machine learning to optimise its logistics and delivery processes. The company uses robotics to manage warehouse products and data analytics to forecast. 
  • The Shoprite Group optimised its digital processes to ensure that its eCommerce platform could handle the surge in shopper numbers during extensive campaigns like Black Friday.  
  • Maersk leveraged digital to streamline operations. It uses blockchain technology to reduce paperwork and improve visibility and uses AI and machine learning to optimise vessel schedules. 
  • Coca-Cola implemented a digital program called ‘Smart Operations’ that used data analytics and AI to optimise production and logistics. This has helped the company reduce costs and improve efficiency and sustainability.

Digital transformation courses will help you develop the skills to implement the same strategies into your business. 

Study for a Certificate in Digital Transformation in Supply Chain Management

Are you interested in learning more about digital transformation in the supply chain and how it can be incorporated into your business? 

The Supply Chain Management: Digital Transformation and Optimisation short course will give you proper training on digital transformation so you can implement it effectively. 

You may be interested in other short digital transformation courses, including the Supply Chain Logistics: Management and Leadership Strategy course and several other business and digital transformation courses to sharpen your skills. 

With digitalisation taking place worldwide, there’s never been a better time to invest in upskilling and ensuring you remain competitive.

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