Industry 4.0 and Supply Chain 4.0? 10 Steps to Establish Strong Digital Supply Chain During Supply Chain Transformation

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Industry 4.0 and Supply Chain 4.0? 10 Steps to Establish Strong Digital Supply Chain During Supply Chain Transformation

 “Quality means doing it right when no one is looking” by Henry Ford.

Digital Supply Chain, thanks to the growing digitalization in the world. The first-ever industrial revolution began with the advent of a mechanism, along with steam and water power. Whereas, the second revolution revolved around mass production and assembly lines that used electricity. The third industrial revolution came along with sectors like IT systems, electronics, and automation. This led to the fourth industrial revolution that was majorly associated with cyber-physical systems.

What is Industry 4.0?

Industry 4.0 can be defined as the fusion of digitalization with traditional industrial processes. It is the intelligent networking of machines and processes that take place in an industry with the help of information and communication technology. This leads to the creation of intelligent value chains and product lifestyles that commence with development, assembly, go through manufacturing, product delivery, and maintenance, and end with recycling. The automation that takes place during the fusion governs a manufacturing system whereby machines in the factories are augmented with wireless connectivity and sensors for monitoring and visualizing the whole production process and make autonomous decisions. The technology in Industry 4.0 helps your organization to manage and optimize all aspects of its manufacturing processes and supply chains.  

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What is Supply Chain 4.0?

The traditional Supply Chain can be interpreted as an integrated manufacturing process, where the supplier supplies either raw materials or semi-finished goods to the manufacturer who manufactures them into finished goods. However, Supply Chain 4.0 is the upgraded version of the supply chain and is defined as the re-organization of supply chains of an organization like designing and planning, consumption, distribution, and reverse technologies by the use of technologies that are known as “Industry 4.0”. The Supply Chain 4.0 model overcomes the disruptive forces for achieving digital transformation success in Industry 4.0. In Supply Chain 4.0, the cycle related to planning is digitally interlinked, which is based on the degree referee view of the Supply Chain. 

10 Steps to Establish Strong Digital Supply Chain During Supply Chain Transformation

10 Steps to Establish Strong Digital Supply Chain During Supply Chain Transformation-

  1. Begin with a Strong Data Foundation– Many organizations who succumb to their digital transformation journey often make the mistake of instantly hopping into the implementation of a refined technology system without knowing the data maturity level of the operations. To avoid this, you should have a strong data foundation that starts with the identification of a single source of data sets before applying the digital tools.
  1. Give Operations Executives a Bigger Role While Setting Strategies– During the digital supply chain process, operational executives are much responsible for helping in the development of the organization’s strategy, and not just implementing it. Digital transformation opportunities have unlocked a new set of capabilities that the organizations can use to outmaneuver the competition.
  1. Take the Initial Steps– You should be able to identify a few trends related to digital transformation and supply chain excellence that matters to most of the operations, and determines a strategy that helps the organization to run smoothly. You should be able to use the organization’s digital transformation and supply chain transformation vision as a guide to go further.
  1. Use Advanced Analytics- As benefits from data has become proven and acknowledged, predictive and prescriptive analysis is very high in demand. Advanced digital transformation analytics can provide your organization with an intelligent response and also deliver proactive solutions for preparing for elevating risks that may happen, and ensuring consistency of customer service.
  1. Set Ambitious Objectives- For a successful digital transformation, make sure that you aim for larger gains in the upcoming years instead of just continuously aiming at 1-2 % gains per year. Also, improve the flow of valuable information from sales to production, reduce delays and costly reworks.

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  1. Invest in Capabilities- Digital leaders should start early while investing in the skills and be an expert. They should look out for opportunities where they can build competence in areas such as automation, predictive maintenance, and the Internet of Things (IoT).
  1. Add Non-Operational Members to the Team– You should add cross-functional teams that must include both doers and dreamers as they can design an investment strategy for digital transformational operations. Their prospects are different which is vital for understanding where the organization is going, how competitors are likely to evolve, how customer needs are constantly changing, and new business models that may emerge in the future.
  1. Move to the Cloud- The benefits of cloud adoption involve better efficiency, business continuity, cybersecurity, scalability, and business agility. The push for organizations to move in clouds has made the current challenges related to the supply chain a little less disruptive for those who have already adopted this digital transformation strategy.
  1. Be Cognitive- You should stay cognitive with a single digital platform that features having built-in analytics, as it would help avoid separate data storage for analytics and transactions that may move out of sync. Analytics directly work on the transactional database, which offers accurate and complete digital information.
  1. Create Content- The content of your digital supply chain accurately portrays your organization as a brand. The content should be updated frequently and it should be user-friendly. Also, your organization’s content should be easily understandable and useful to the target audience so that they feel connected to it.


Thus, hereby it can be concluded that shippers, logistic providers, and other supply chain players must quickly get on the right track so that they can avoid being left behind. Digital transformation and supply chain opportunities may seem like trends, but if organizations don’t prioritize them, they would be doing a disservice to themselves and their customers. As the technology that is available to the supply chain is rapidly continuing to get advanced, you should quickly start to build the essential steps to a successful digital future of your organization.

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