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Which Comes First? Supply Chain Digitization or Partner Integration?

Posted by John DiPalo on August 30, 2016

It seems like everywhere you turn, there’s a new article, post or study on the digitization of the supply chain, and with good reason! More and more companies are focusing on digitizing their supply chain to better keep up with customer demand, improve productivity, and manage manufacturing and distribution risks. With the emergence of new technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), and expanding use of GPS, RFID and other electronic data capture and synchronizing technologies, the volume of data available to companies today is unprecedented. In order for companies to take advantage of this new level of data granularity, they need to rethink the way they capture and process this information. After all, the real value in all this data is when it provides answers and actionable business information.

Many companies hit a digitization roadblock because the business processes that formerly took place in house are now completed by third party partners that have varying technological capabilities to share information. We recently sponsored a Supply Chain Digest survey that highlights the different methods that companies use to exchange information with their supply chain partners.


acsis edge network infographic


If much of the information needed to digitize your supply chain is locked up in your make-to-ship partners, you need to find a consistent way of integrating information from your internal systems with the information from your partners.

By allowing partners to leverage the IT assets they have available to them today (as opposed to creating a new point-to-point interface every time a new interface is required), you can make that happen quickly and painlessly.

As you make the journey to supply chain digitization, it’s important to keep in mind that all of your partners will not make the journey at the speed you want them to. This is why it is essential to have a data collection and integration platform in place before your digital transformation. The ability to accept information in a multimodal format and automatically standardize it for your systems will allow you to integrate information quickly and adjust easily when your partners do move towards a digital supply chain.