Suits The C-Suite

In recent years, there has been a substantial change in the global landscape of supply chains. Companies are dealing with a wide range of challenges that are changing the way they see supply chain strategy, from geopolitical conflicts to digital disruptions and pressures from climate change and the sustainability agenda. A new paradigm reimagining supply chains is emerging in reaction to these disruptions, forcing businesses to reconsider their existing strategies and adopt a comprehensive approach to capitalize upon new opportunities while ensuring resilience.

Because of this, traditional and analog supply chain strategies may no longer be capable of effectively responding to supply chain shocks. Instead, an agile, digital supply chain consisting of intelligent monitoring, real-time data visibility and management, and crisis and exception management frameworks, among other things, can be a massive game-changer. However, there are no shortcuts to the digital transformation of the supply chain, as merely adding technology to existing supply chain management systems and processes for the sake of supply chain digitalization will not deliver the real value that businesses desire.

This is the second article in a supply chain series that previously looked at integrated supply chain planning.

According to an EY report, exponential data growth is another fundamental problem that continues to overwhelm most businesses at an accelerated pace. Companies that can effectively navigate the increasing complexity of new digital business models will be able to maintain a competitive advantage, but companies that are unable to do so will inhibit their ability to derive meaningful insights, leading to a barrier to achieving automation and efficiency.

The disruption brought about by digital technology has significantly reshaped supply chains, accelerating supply chain digitalization. According to the Evolution to Revolution: MHI Annual Industry Report, 78% of supply chain executives in the study acknowledge the revolutionary value of digital technologies. The whole supply chain will benefit from the new opportunities for efficiency improvements as well as improved decision-making brought forth by this shift toward digitalization.

Digital supply chain reimagination has also become defined by the mounting demand to improve resiliency, combat climate change, and promote sustainability. Consumers are more aware of how products affect the environment, with 75% of US consumers voicing worries in this area, according to an article titled “Majority of US Consumers Say They Will Pay More for Sustainable Products” by Sustainable Brands, a community of brand innovators shaping the future of commerce. In order to meet these changing customer expectations, businesses are adopting supply chain redesign driven by sustainability.

In order to navigate these complexities and seize opportunities, companies have to embrace a comprehensive approach to supply chain reimagination, utilizing a framework that revolves around the following four key pillars.

Supply chain sustainability and resiliency. This pillar emphasizes tech-led process excellence to build resilient supply chains through enhanced visibility and improved agility. To guarantee continuous operations and satisfy customer demands, integrated business planning, manufacturing reliability, and secure alternative bill of materials (BoMs) and sources of supply all play critical roles.

End-to-end (E2E) cost optimization. For a company to stay competitive, better cost management along the entire supply chain is essential. Among the key levers necessary to achieve long-term cost reductions and operational efficiency are strategic sourcing, the elimination of manufacturing waste, and maximizing logistics expenditures. Adopting a centralized operating model for supply chain through Global Business Services (GBS) or Shared Services Center (SSC) solutions can also create significant cost savings.

Supply chain process digitalization. The digitalization of supply chains opens up new opportunities for agility and efficiency. Real-time decision-making and enhanced collaboration are made possible by autonomous planning, digital factories, and procurement analytics. E2E visibility and quality management through the use of the Control Tower system also allow seamless integration between functions, enhancing the effectiveness and response of the supply chain as a whole. Leveraging a Digital Twin (a virtual model of the physical supply chain that includes a digital counterpart of every piece of the process) enables companies to run a parallel version of the supply network and simulate scenarios for better insights before making transformative changes.

Strategic interventions. This final pillar includes supply chain redesign driven by sustainability, carbon footprint optimization, and segmentation and portfolio optimization. Companies can future-proof their operations and align their supply chains with shifting market dynamics by carefully reevaluating their operations and implementing asset-light solutions.

Companies may significantly affect their profit and loss statements by concentrating on these four supply chain reimagination areas.

According to an assessment of prior supply chain engagements conducted by EY, adopting a supply chain reimagination framework has had a substantial positive impact on customers in four areas.

First, implementing strong resilience measures can result in gains in total revenue of 3% to 5%, a forecasting accuracy of 5%, supplier lead times of 50% to 60%, and overall equipment efficiency (OEE) of 15% to 30%.

Second, through route optimization and freight rate benchmarking, focusing on cost optimization can result in reductions of 4% to 6% in direct material costs, 5% to 10% in manufacturing expenses, and 6% to 10% in transportation costs.

Third, embracing digital transformation in the supply chain can lower production costs by 5% to 10%, inventory carrying costs by 10% to 15%, and warehouse and distribution center operating expenses by 6% to 10%.

Last, through network redesign, strategic interventions can reduce transportation costs by 10% to 25% and increase on-time-in-full (OTIF) performance so that it reaches 95% or higher.

The supply chain landscape is rapidly changing as a result of a convergence of major disruptions and the demand for sustainability and resilience. However, businesses that use the framework for supply chain reimagination can elevate themselves to a leading position during this change. Enhancing digitalization, building robust supply chains, controlling costs, and aligning operations with shifting market dynamics are all possible for firms that take a comprehensive approach and make full use of technology, process excellence, and strategic interventions.

Reimagining the digital supply chain is no longer a choice — it is imperative for businesses seeking long-term success as the business climate continues to evolve. Organizations may maximize the potential of their supply chains and succeed in a complex and dynamic world by reevaluating their strategies and embracing these four pillars, charting a path to increased resilience, sustainability, and autonomous supply networks.

The next article in this series will discuss why green supply chains are the key to long-term value.

This article is for general information only and is not a substitute for professional advice where the facts and circumstances warrant. The views and opinions expressed above are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of SGV & Co.


Jan Ray G. Manlapaz is a consulting partner and Mary Andrea T. Bacani is a Supply Chain and Operations (SCO) senior manager of SGV & Co.