Time to digitise your supply chain

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Three out of five manufacturers do not have real-time visibility of stock levels within the organisation. Not only that, some 68 per cent do not have a real-time view of manufacturing volumes across plants within the organisation.

Malory Davies, Editor.

The figures come from a study by Sapio Research for Zetes looking at the development of Industry 4.0 concepts in manufacturing. And reflecting the results of some earlier work it tends to suggest that many manufacturers are struggling to come to terms with digitisation of the manufacturing process.

It found that only 29 per cent of manufacturers say they truly understand what having a Digital Supply Chain Network is.

Four out of five say that securing meaningful intelligence from their end-to-end supply chain is a challenge, while 75 per cent say dealing with-real time information is a significant hurdle that needs to be overcome.

Although 89 per cent of manufacturers state that they believe that a single view of information from supply chain operations is key – to date, only 30 per cent have full end-to-end visibility

Nevertheless, the study found positive signs that organisations are starting to make changes; 38 per cent of respondents are looking to improve supplier collaboration, 35 per cent supplier performance monitoring and 34 per cent predictive alerts to mitigate disruption.

And there is plenty of evidence that there are significant benefits to be had. A study by PwC, last year, covering 2,000 participants in 26 countries, found that over the next five years, companies surveyed expected to increase annual revenues by an average of 2.9 per cent and reduce costs by an average of 3.6 per cent a year.

That translates into $421 billion in cost reductions and $493 billion in increased annual revenues a year for the next five years.

What all this suggests is that those who act now can stay ahead of the game. The world is changing faster than we might think, and failing to act now will mean playing catch-up later.

Malory Davies FCILT



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