By Ray Clegg, Director, Logistical Operations, OC Reilly

(Sept. 24, 2018)—Mastering the art of supply chain management can be enough of a challenge. Incorporating the science of effective supply chain management can be equally intimidating. Mistakes at the digital level may appear to be more easily corrected, but they also can occur more quickly and affect a wider scope.

That is why it makes sense to transition into digital supply chain systems using a phased approach. In the May 2018 issue of Logistics Management, a number of industry experts weigh in on this topic.

Contributing Editor Roberto Michel writes, in his article, “Your Path to the Digital Supply Chain”: “To succeed with digital supply chain efforts, companies have to ‘think big, start small, and scale fast’…Some digitization efforts might be more incremental in nature, like connecting machine assets on a manufacturing line to analytics, while others might be ‘net new’ digital capabilities, like providing connectivity to products in the field to enable new services to customers.

“In either case – enhancing current processes or enabling new ones – the same agile methods can make digital supply chain easier to build. We encourage companies to think big, but not in a way that creates a lot of limitations upfront by having to gather all possible requirements. You can prove that a smaller idea works, gain success, and then build on that.”

In that same edition, in a Q&A feature with SMC3 CEO Andrew Slusher, he says, “At their core, new technology tools are all about providing users with data that can then be used to optimize and streamline their supply chains. Companies that use a tailored blend of supply chain solutions benefit from data they couldn’t find anywhere else – shipment-level visibility and execution information, rating intelligence and carrier routing deal, among others. By using all the available tools in a strategic manner, these companies are giving themselves a leg up on the competition.”

Gaining that competitive advantage remains a key objective, but it makes just as much sense to advance to that level carefully and strategically. The professionals at OC Reilly can help assess your particular supply chain situation for maximum returns.

© 2018 OC Reilly, Inc.