The words “digital transformation” tend to daunt decision-makers, conjuring ideas of enterprise-wide disruption and lengthy, resource-exhaustive initiatives. In reality, digital transformation doesn’t have to involve immense, comprehensive infrastructure changes. The key to successfully bringing your business into the digital age is to see it as a journey, not a race. The process should be completed in well-planned, prioritized stages, building into a complete technology suite for your entire organization.
Stage 1: Keep Your Eye on the Prize
Strategic goals are vital to digital transformation. Without clear objectives to drive decision-making, it is impossible to align this process with the long-term business strategy. Before setting out, it is crucial to identify transformation objectives and required ROI, tying every investment to these goals.
Stage 2: Mix and Match
In today’s marketplace, your technology options are endless. However, with pre-established objectives, decision-makers have a clear starting point to explore and select the right combination of technologies to that will transform processes.
For instance, a manufacturer struggles with back office efficiency. By pinpointing the pain-point and prioritizing it as a key transformation goal, they can rapidly narrow down technology solutions that best address their unique business problem, optimizing operational efficiency to boost performance.
Stage 3: Execute Digital Transformation
With objectives prioritized and the right technologies selected, decision-makers can create a precise implementation roadmap. Changes can then be rolled out in well-defined phases, allowing supply chain businesses to gain the early benefits of digital transformation with minimal disruption to daily business activity.
Document processing is an ideal smaller initiative to launch digital transformation, delivering significant ROI. For example, a growing with an expanding customer base, receives hundreds of documents a day. Consequently, their employees spend precious hours processing data, while fluctuating order volumes create a significant hiring challenge.
Automating their document processing is a digital transformation that transforms a key business process. The distributor is able to eliminate manual entry, allowing them to reallocate staff to better serve customers. Meanwhile, they also achieve 100% order accuracy, while accelerating order processing by 80 percent.
Digital transformation is now status quo for supply chain businesses seeking to gain and retain a competitive edge. Yet there’s no need to jump into the deep end with enterprise-wide, disruptive changes. Instead, view your digital transformation as a journey, building it out in planned stages tied to clear business goals and forecasted ROI. This way, you’ll not only ensure a smooth transition to the digital age but also long-term, tangible results across the supply chain.