Addressing Barriers to Digitization of Supply Chains

Illustration of a control tower set up overseeing a digital supply chain

Today’s supply chain complexities throw up worrisome issues around efficiency and cost. This is especially true of the logistics ecosystem in India. According to a 2018 Mint report about 40% of India’s total logistics cost stem from inefficiencies. A host of which can be mitigated through digitization of supply chains. A fact not lost on India’s startup community. Over the past few years, India has welcomed several innovative upstarts within the logistics space. These startups use IoT, Bluetooth or other smart sensing technologies to build logistics solutions that can help optimize supply chain operations. 

Benefits are obvious, but adoption is low

One such solution that improves exception handling and planning is the Control Tower. A Control Tower can be thought of as a centralized command center that oversees operations across the supply chain. Armed with real time visibility they help businesses establish a greater degree of control and resilience across their operations. 

Mature implementations of the Control Tower provide further benefits. As they make use of historical data to provide advanced insights. Which can aid in predictive decision making. However, despite these benefits adoption of digitization remains low. 

This is because awareness isn’t the only barrier to large scale adoption of digitization. Most supply chain executives in India aren’t sure of how adept their workforce would be at using technology solutions. Some are apprehensive of the culture shock technology can create among their ground teams. 

Complexity is a myth

These apprehensions aren’t entirely accurate. While it is true that sometimes talk around digitization is dominated by techspeak most logistics solution providers take great care in making their products user friendly and intuitive. In fact we, at Intugine, have made simplicity and consistency one of our core design principles. We’ve taken great care to ensure that our low distraction plug and play solutions are just as easy to use as a smartphone.

What about the road ahead?

Intugine has spent the best part of the past decade driving digitization across India. And the most frequent advice we give teams hesitant to change is to take things one step at a time. New technology is best adopted in a phased manner. Digital solutions in logistics are possibly a marked deviation from the status quo. Be it for your in-house ground teams at warehouses or external teams across your partner network. A gradual step wise adoption will give your workforce time. Time which they can use to pick up new skills and adapt to modified workflows.

Visibility is the first step

Therefore not all companies are readily suited to adopt solutions like Control Tower. Some might have only just begun on their digitization journey. To all such newbies we recommend visibility as the necessary first step. Visibility of your entire supply chain. From tracking of shipments in transit to movement within plants or warehouses. Visibility helps businesses identify inefficiencies that plague their operations and improve planning efficiency.

This blog was meant to address the reservations people have against digitization of supply chains. We hope you found it helpful. If there’s a consideration we missed discussing do let us know in the comments below.

If you wish to explore how visibility could help improve your supply chain operation you can get in touch with us here.

One Response

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