Take a look around you. It’s not hard to find examples of ways that technology has transformed our lives. From drones and robot vacuums to internet-connected doorbells, in many instances, technology has automated and streamlined ordinary tasks, making us safer and freeing up time for other activities. Technology connects us with friends and family from across the world in an instant – on a device that fits in the palm of the hand.
Whether you’re a keen early adopter or a resistant technology laggard, there’s no denying that digital transformation is all around us. And, while nobody is forcing you to bring the latest gadget into your home, you would be doing yourself and your business a great disservice by falling behind in technology at work.
The world around us is changing at a rapid pace. Innovation and digitization is happening all the time. Trends are evolving, and businesses that fail to adapt will fall behind.
What is digital transformation?
Here’s what it’s not: digital transformation isn’t just about adopting shiny new technology because it’s trendy. As a recent article in CIO puts it, “Digital transformation is a foundational change in how an organization delivers value to its customers.” If technology isn’t driving new value to your customers, then what’s the point? Whether you’re looking to offer new services, speed up lead times, or trim costs, at the end of the day, you want your digital transformation to align with your business goals and objectives.
Why should supply chain businesses invest in digital transformation strategy?
So much has changed in the last few years when it comes to the supply chain. With the proliferation of e-commerce, freight forwarders and 3PLs are increasingly doing business with agents and suppliers all over the globe. Expectations regarding lead times are higher than ever. It’s a race to deliver the fastest service at the lowest price, and old school methods just won’t cut it anymore. Even the most macro-laden spreadsheets won’t be able to keep up with the requirements of today’s modern supply chain businesses. In fact, executives say that the top benefits of digital transformation include improving operational efficiency (40%), faster time to market (36%), and meeting customer expectations (35%). Digital transformation is needed to automate processes and integrate systems, making it possible to speed things up and delight customers while still protecting profit margins.
Is moving to the cloud the ultimate digital transformation?
Cloud-based supply chain software has many benefits over on-premises deployments and is a great place to consider working on digital transformation. Moving to the cloud has been shown to deliver a lower total cost of ownership, plus it delivers a more predictable cost structure and lower startup costs than hosting software on your own servers. Cloud-based supply chain software leaves the hard work of server maintenance, updates, and security to the experts, giving you more time and resources to focus on your business and customers.
How Supply Chain Automation Fits into Your Digital Transformation Strategy
Freight forwarders, 3PLs, and other supply chain businesses have to navigate so many complex processes these days. Trying to do everything by hand is simply unsustainable. That’s where automation is your best asset. Look at the most repetitive, tedious processes – there is likely to be a solution to automate them. The warehouse is often the first place to look for opportunities to implement automation technology. Automated pallet, parcel, and cargo dimensioning and imaging is significantly faster and more accurate than conducting these tasks manually. Dimensioner, the automated dimensioning solution from Magaya, has been bound to saves about 3 minutes per pallet in increased efficiency, cumulatively leading to massive warehouse productivity gains over time.
While implementing automation technologies can be disruptive in the short term, the long-term gains in efficiency, improved customer service, better accuracy, and cost savings are many. The key is to avoid being blinded by the excitement of new technology and to ensure that the tools you consider align with your organization’s goals.