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How to Successfully Scale Digitalization in Supply Chain Operations

Digitalization in supply chains is more than just technology; it’s about harnessing data, developing people, and planning with purpose.


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Published: August 7, 2023

— Successful supply chain digitalization hinges on data, people, focused planning, scalability, and the right use of technology.

The following are takeaways from Accenture’s session at aim10x live New York City.

Data: The Foundation of Digitalization

Data plays a pivotal role in the digitalization journey. Establishing a single source of truth is essential for effective decision-making and supply chain management. It involves ensuring data security, determining data governance practices, and leveraging data to enhance resilience and visibility throughout the supply chain. By understanding the granular data requirements of each business segment, organizations can optimize planning, network design, and pricing strategies to achieve better outcomes.

People: The Key Enablers of Transformation

Effective data utilization requires skilled and engaged personnel. Upskilling the supply chain workforce is vital, but it can be challenging due to the demanding nature of supply chain roles. Overinvesting in talent development is necessary to empower employees and make them active participants in the digitalization process. Organizations must identify training needs, design comprehensive upskilling programs, and create a culture that encourages continuous learning. By investing in their people, businesses can unlock the full potential of their digital transformation efforts.

Deliberate and Value-Focused Planning

Digitalization is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It requires a deliberate and value-focused approach tailored to each organization’s unique needs and goals. A well-defined plan that aligns with the overall business strategy is crucial. Organizations must identify the regions and segments that will derive the most value from the transformation and prioritize accordingly. By driving alignment at all levels of the organization, from C-suite leaders to cross-functional teams, businesses can create a strong foundation for successful digitalization.

Scale with a Purpose

Moving beyond pilot purgatory and scaling digitalization efforts is a challenge many organizations face. Successful scaling involves careful consideration of business cases and an understanding that value realization may vary across different regions and timeframes. While immediate returns may be focused in specific markets, it’s crucial to have a long-term perspective that accounts for global scalability. Involving stakeholders from various functions and securing sponsorship at the C-suite level are critical for achieving a successful and scaled digital transformation.

Technology as an Enabler, Not a Solution

Embracing technology is a key component of digitalization, but it’s essential to remember that technology alone cannot drive the desired outcomes. Organizations must focus on leveraging technology as an enabler to solve specific business challenges. A thorough understanding of the required functionalities, skillsets, and ways of doing business is crucial before implementing any technology solution. By aligning technology with business goals and ensuring the right insights are generated, organizations can harness the true power of digitalization.

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