Supply Chain Briefing

March 7, 2017

Well, let’s start with a definition of digitization.  According to, McKinsey defines it as technologies that virtualize and automate products, services and supply chains. We certainly hear about digitization in the news frequently; however, according to McKinsey, even though CIOs embrace it, digitization is a slow-moving process.

On the other hand, don’t see this as an opportunity to take a break.  According to McKinsey, 49% of the leading companies are investing in digital more than their counterparts do, compared with only 5% of digital laggards.  Perhaps it is an opportunity to leapfrog the competition?

What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?
Digitization isn’t going to take over our day-to-day operations anytime soon; however, if we want to lead in our industry and provide exceptional service to our customers, we better get ahead of this curve, no matter how slow-moving at the moment.  If Amazon has proved anything, it is that everything can change in a heartbeat.  Thus, we should get our strategy going and think about what digitization would make sense in our industry.  What would help us provide a superior customer experience?  I find that is always a good place to start to spur thinking.

It also makes sense to research the best practices in digitization (regardless of industry).  After all, if it is a slow-moving process, we cannot rely on our competition and colleagues to be on the leading edge to push us to innovate.  Instead, we need to explore what’s working for completely different industries and think about how it could apply these ideas to our industry.  With that said, be selective and smart.  Do your due diligence but don’t get overly excited about digital technology that won’t provide a competitive advantage or significant value for your organization.  Empower your people to open their minds and ideas will flow.  You’ll find a gem out there somewhere.