Our second takeaway from Gartner’s Supply Chain Executive Conference was the importance of creating a digital ecosystem within the organization so as to be able to make more intelligent business decisions.
A digital ecosystem is what the analysts consider to be the internal supply chain, external partners, customers, suppliers and competitor metrics, integrated with the help of big data, cloud technology and advanced analytics.
In the conference’s opening keynote, Gartner analysts Michael Burkett and James Lisica held up BMW as an example of a company that uses data to empower more effective leadership and future planning.
BMW has 30 million parts across thousands of different suppliers. Those parts are brought together to create bespoke orders for its customers. BMW can plan demand, but ultimately there will always be a tolerance required around the almost-limitless option combinations drivers can choose from for new cars.
This challenge drove the company to increase automation across its supply chain. Automation at scale enables real-time alerts on multiple levels when parts are dispatched, when freight is re-routed or delayed, when the parts are delivered to factories, and when the parts are moved around the factories. This creates accurate real-time forecasting, and eventually the goal is to relay production status updates back to the customer at every stage of the process.
BMW has also started to integrate real-time supplier data into its planning, layering more data points and tracking on top of its own first-party data. As an organization, it is making smarter decisions and automating simple processes, which sets them on a path for future success.
Are other organizations ready to follow this path? Gartner’s research found that 83% of CSCOs find implementing digital supply chain initiatives challenging, and more than 50% say the lack of a roadmap is one of the biggest roadblocks to digitalization. They are struggling to plan, which Gartner argues is directly related to their ability to collate data and build a digital ecosystem.
Thirty-five percent of supply chain leaders say they are working toward digitalization, with a view to implementing automatic alerts and actions. But, crucially, it’s to support their data scientists and subject matter experts rather than replace. As Burkett and Lisica said, “tech doesn’t matter if you don’t build the right organization, with the right people.”
The first step of digitalization is to leverage technology to enable better communication between teams and suppliers. But how?
Domo has worked with a wide range of partners on that, including global electronics supplier RS Components. Through the Domo Everywhere functionality, organizations can share insights and build stronger relationships with customers, partners and vendors by embedding interactive Domo cards in portals, on web properties, or even inside applications. Digitalization is vital for creating scale, and securing the all-important buy-in from senior management.
Learn more about Domo Everywhere here.
- Gartner SCC Diary, Part 1: Collaboration Is Key for Organizations That Want to Scale Supply Chains
- Gartner SCC Diary Part 3: People, data and systems aren’t sustainable without each other