This is a Guest Post from Carin Ivarsson, Director of Alliances, Nordics, at Tradeshift.
Change has never been faster, and will never be as slow as now. This fact couldn’t have been more apparent at a recent innovation workshop hosted by Tradeshift in partnership with Deloitte, in Copenhagen last month. At the event, leaders from businesses across Europe discussed the major trends in supply chain and shared insights around how they’re embracing digitization.
Here are a few of my reflections from the event.
AI is core to the future of supply chain
There’s no doubt that AI will completely change the way organisations source and procure in the near-future. At the moment, many businesses are largely focused on using AI to automate repetitive tasks to drive efficiency. That being said, some are looking beyond efficiency gain and thinking about how they can use AI to conduct supply chain analysis, and even make certain business decisions. And while some of us may see that as a threat, there is a sense that very soon people will be as comfortable with AI as they are sending emails.
Supply chain transparency is key
Consumer demands on hyper-convenience, hyper-customization and hyper-awareness are driving the need for supply chain transparency and sustainability. Consumers want to know what happens to their goods from the primary origin of every component to the shelf of the department store. Businesses themselves will struggle to provide this information, which, in turn, raises the need for ecosystems of partners and peers that collaborate to ensure that information is correct, up to date, and relevant. There’s also a case for distributed ledger technology here, and that discussion will continue for sure.
Market uncertainty requires agility
Globalisation continues to offer lots of opportunities to businesses, but it also brings new complexity to the supply chain. With Brexit looming and endless trade wars threatening the status quo, there is a need to control whatever you can about your own business environment. Most importantly, companies must learn how to harness technology to build flexibility and resilience into their supply chain processes so they’re prepared for the unexpected.
Data is only as good as the insights it delivers
In an ever competitive business environment, where small margins are the difference between success and failure, analytics and business intelligence have never been more important. All businesses are looking to harness data to create flexible reports and dashboards that inform decision making.
The future is built on partnerships
The challenge, however, is extracting quality data from reliable sources that can be analysed and exposed to decision-makers, in real time. It’s complex, and no company can do it alone. This is why Tradeshift and Deloitte are working together to combine the comprehensive data sets on the Tradeshift platform with Deloitte capabilities in the area of business processes, business intelligence and user interface design to deliver these insights to our customers.