Three challenges in the value chain you cannot escape

In the world around us one development is following another at a rapid pace, and the same is also true within the value chain. Technological and social developments, as well as changes in supply and demand, mean it will be impossible to manage the value chain in the future using existing tools and methods. We are entering a new era. If you want to progress, then you will need to adjust your approach. By embracing developments and integrating them into your business processes, you will continue to play a significant role as a shipper, retailer, e-commerce business or logistics services provider. Three challenges in the value chain that you are sure to encounter are outlined below.

Klimaatakkoord: leidraad

Three challenges in the value chain

1. Digitisation

The speed with which changes are taking place on the market calls for a sophisticated digital approach. Digitisation offers a wealth of opportunities in the area of end-to-end supply chain visibility, and the logistics chains of shippers, retailers, e-commerce businesses and logistics services providers in particular can benefit from these greatly. Future digital solutions and developments will provide parties with an even better insight. Continuously measuring efficiency and effectiveness will allow them to significantly improve their process and, therefore, their competitive position. This will have a positive effect on efficiency across the entire chain, ensure a better balance between performance and costs and, at the same time, reduce CO2 emissions. Reasons enough, therefore, to get on board.

Inhibiting factors
Many companies, however, do not have the correct focus or the correct steering mechanism to migrate their current IT infrastructure quickly to a digital approach. This is due, on the one hand, to their employees, who are focused on a particular way of working and are in fact trapped within the existing system. On the other hand, the existing ICT systems – especially at large companies – are an inhibiting factor in themselves. Such all-encompassing systems cannot just simply be scrapped. As a result companies are really struggling to cope with the changes.

Do more with less data
First of all, it is important to clarify what is needed and then make sure that the right people are in front of the right buttons. It is advisable for businesses to start off small and upgrade their processes slowly. Assuming that all data needs to be examined during digitisation in order to optimise the process is also a misconception. The art is to identify the data with the greatest impact on improvement and growth. Digitisation allows you to scan the entire chain simply and the data generated quickly reveals where any black or grey spots lie. That means you know precisely what you need to tackle in order to achieve better results. The motto here is: do MORE with LESS data!

2. Collaboration

The changing nature of the market and dynamic business models make collaboration a necessity. As businesses depend on an efficient supply chain for success, they currently organise the flow of goods from their own warehouse on a daily basis.
Many companies find it difficult to start working together, and sometimes see it as a threat, but in the future collaboration will become essential to ensure flexibility and continuity within the chain. It is a fact that collaboration is crucial for efficient supply chain management!
After all, it is precisely where operations intersect that you find the greatest potential for improvement. Gathering and combining data from the everyday practice of shippers, retailers, e-commerce businesses and logistics services providers gives you concrete and tangible insights. These reveal what is working well and where there is room for improvement – within organisations, but also, in particular, between companies. As anomalies are clearly visible, you can make improvements in a highly targeted way. This improves your own competitive position and that of the entire chain.

3. Climate Agreement

The Paris climate targets and the Dutch Climate Agreement call for a drastic reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030. The Climate Agreement requires intelligent and comprehensive monitoring, a concrete action plan, periodic reports and the safeguarding of progress. You can respond to these challenges easily by taking a step-by-step approach. Data and the accompanying digitisation process mentioned under point 1 above are an essential part of this. The collaboration described under point 2 will also make it easier to achieve the climate targets.

Existing platforms make it simple
Many companies are finding it difficult to put the Climate Agreement into practice. Fortunately, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Various existing platforms are available that can help you increase your compliance with the targets under the Climate Agreement in a simple way, step by step. BigMile, for example, offers a hands-on approach. With this solution you first identify and certify your carbon footprint, after which you can then take targeted steps to reduce this footprint on the basis of your data and the insights it gives you. As you can record the data of the partners you work with in BigMile, you can also achieve a more efficient end-to-end supply chain. In this way, the Climate Agreement not only has a positive impact on the environment, but also gives you the opportunity to strengthen your competitive position and improve your business performance at the same time.

Step-by-step improvement
You have no doubt noticed that the challenges described above are closely interwoven. Digitisation, data and collaboration form the basis for future success within supply chains. From time to time, of course, all these developments and changes will place obstacles in our path. However, by confronting them together with a step-by-step approach, we can achieve a more efficient end-to-end supply chain, from which not only our businesses, but also the environment, will benefit.

Author: Jannie van Andel

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