End-to-end digitization is top supply chain priority

end-to-end digitization

End-to-end digitization is a top priority for supply chain professionals because it will allow them to explore industry best practices and thus improve operational performance. That is the main conclusion from the Körber Supply Chain Benchmarking Report 2022.

Supply chain professionals are well aware of the external factors that drive supply chain complexity, but Körber concludes that there is still room for improvement when implementing measures to improve the end customer experience, labour efficiency and process automation. The report shows that a majority of companies are currently struggling with the interconnectivity of the global economy.

These insights into key industry challenges and best practices for improving supply chain performance and operations come from a survey conducted among more than 200 businesses. The participating companies were categorized depending on their maturity level: leader, advanced, developing and initiating, with 35% being identified as ‘leaders’ (top performers).

Overall, 84% of the respondents regard digitization and process automation as a strategic or high priority. However, only a minority are currently using automated, paperless end-to-end processes throughout their supply chain.

Leveraging the potential of the digital era

“The research demonstrates that companies recognize increasing supply chain complexities and are acting to leverage the potential of the digital era,” commented Rene Hermes, Executive Vice President and CMO at Körber. “There is a growing awareness that many challenges can be overcome, and a competitive advantage gained, with supply chain technology. 35% identified as leaders perform outstandingly well through investing in employee engagement, concrete implementation plans for sustainable practices and through advanced levels of digitization with consistent process automation.”

Other key takeaways from the survey

– Two-thirds of supply chain executives say they have insufficient staff. 73% of leaders are therefore making large-scale use of gamification and other technologies to increase employee engagement.

– 92% of the respondents see evidence that customer satisfaction has a direct impact on their supply chain performance. According to Körber, this explains why order management systems (OMS) are on the rise, because these solutions have a direct impact on the accuracy, speed and cost of fulfilment.

– 89% of companies regard sustainability as a top priority. Companies in the ‘leader’ category are three times more likely to switch to more sustainable packaging materials, and they are four times more likely than companies in the ‘advanced’ category to implement circular economy projects.

– 59% of supply chains scoring as ‘leaders’ can plan and execute digitization projects in-house, compared to only 23% of ‘advanced’ companies.