Manufacturers falling behind in take-up of digital supply chain networks

By James Henderson
Only 29% of manufacturers admit to truly understanding what having a Digital Supply Chain Network (DSN) is, with under 15% implementing a DSN and expect...

Only 29% of manufacturers admit to truly understanding what having a Digital Supply Chain Network (DSN) is, with under 15% implementing a DSN and expecting them to become the norm for the business in the next five years, according to a new study.  

The findings are part of a report by Sapio Research on behalf of Zetes which found that the biggest challenges to adoption is a lack of information visibility, which in-turn damages the chances of an organisation being able to access relevant insight in real-time.

At present, manufacturers state securing meaningful intelligence from their end-to-end supply chain as a challenge (80%), dealing with-real time information (75%) and the ability to deal with the intelligence – as significant hurdles that need to be overcome.

Other key highlights from the manufacturing research include:

  • Over half (59%) do not have real-time visibility of stock levels within the organisation;
  • 65% do not have real-time view of suppliers’ manufacturing schedules;
  • 68% do not have a real-time view of manufacturing volumes across plants within the organisation;
  • Only a third of manufacturers are able to aggregate information across the supply chain
  • Despite the rise in the Internet of Things (IoT) and aspiration of digital supply networks, organisational effectiveness is still reliant on date communications including telephone, fax and email to share critical information

The fact that over two thirds of manufacturers cannot provide decision makers with access to the information required to make informed business decisions, is of significant concern. Although 89% of manufacturers state that they believe that a single view of information from supply chain operations is key – to date, only 30% have full end-to-end visibility.

The next 12 months will therefore be a crucial time period for manufacturers as they take steps to transform their business. And, there are positive signs that many are starting to make some vital changes; 38% of respondents are looking to improve supplier collaboration, 35% supplier performance monitoring and 34% predictive alerts to mitigate disruption.

Sébastien Sliski, General Manager Supply Chain Solutions at Zetes commented: “Manufacturers know that across the industry there needs to be greater focus on speed, accuracy and agility within the end-to-end supply chain, if they are to remain competitive and achieve the nirvana of Industry 4.0.

"The only way they are going to be able to reach such heights is to optimise processes between legacy and new systems as well as providing key stakeholders with meaningful insight from real-time data sources."

 

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