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Rethinking your supply chain business model in 2021

December 10, 2020

In my last blog, I looked at some potential supply chain trends in 2021, namely how to create a more agile supply chain while taking substitutability and human rights in to account. In this one, I will discuss potential trends in supply chain business model transformation we may see over the coming year.  

Expanding your supply chain team

When it comes to rethinking your business model in 2021, one of the best things you can do is enlist a partner in your supply chain operations. This will help create a transformation roadmap and support its implementation. Having a second pair of eyes to look objectively at your supply chain operations and find fit-to-purpose solutions will smooth the way for your digital transformation and help your organization move toward a frictionless future, and ensure you create a future–proof solution.

Likewise, bringing a tech startup into the fold can help when scaling your automation requires a specialized workforce. By working with startups, supply chain leaders get the technological knowledge they need to take their automation processes to the next level. Acquiring startups accomplishes two goals – driving digital transformation across your organization and bringing the best up and coming talent into your company. 

Technological transformations for your supply chain

There has been a move in business toward intelligent automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and the ongoing digitalization of operations over the last few years. This trend is only going to continue into 2021 and beyond. You might wonder what “digitalization of operations“ means for your organization. It can mean many different things because when it comes to creating a technological roadmap, there is no “one-size-fits-all“ approach.   

Leveraging a digital supply chain twin can help you understand your actual supply chain’s impact. One of the perks of using a digital twin is that it enables data mining and process visualization to understand the dependencies, bottlenecks, and friction points between your business processes’ various functions without making any changes to the actual processes. It enables real-time analysis of any frictions and creates ways to remove them altogether by performing a test run of any needed changes without the risk of costly mistakes. It helps develop actionable items which can lead to further hyper-automation projects.  

It is essential to remember artificial intelligence will continue to be at the heart of any digital transformation you make in 2021. It is the cornerstone companies need to embrace since the technology behind it creates flexibility and, with the right assessment, can provide “made to fit,” long-term, cost-efficient solutions.  

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