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What’s Your Level of “Supply Chain Digital Consciousness”?

What’s Your Level of “Supply Chain Digital Consciousness”?

Sixth MHI Annual Industry Report Explores Stages, Growth of Digital Technology Adoption—The sixth MHI Annual Industry Report explores the stages and growth of digital technology adoption and, new this year, includes a self-assessment tool for measuring your supply chain digital consciousness index (DCI).

* By Carol Miller *

After six consecutive years of conducting a survey of 1,000-plus industry leaders about their awareness of and investment in ground-breaking supply chain innovations, MHI and the Deloitte Consulting LLP research team have conclusively determined that the age of the digital supply chain is here.

This finding was the leading point made in a keynote panel discussion at ProMat 2019 releasing the 2019 MHI Annual Industry Report, “Elevating Supply Chain Digital Consciousness” (now available as a free download on The presentation included moderators George Prest, CEO of MHI and Scott Sopher, principal and leader of the Deloitte Consulting’s Global Supply Chain Practice. The pair was joined by four panelists from industry and academia who reflected on the report’s highlights and findings:

  • Randy V. Bradley, Assistant Professor of Information Systems and Supply Chain Management, Haslam College of Business, The University of Tennessee
  • Annette Danek-Akey, Senior Vice President of Supply Chain, Penguin Random House
  • Jim Liefer, CEO, Kindred AI
  • Joel Reed, CEO, IAM Robotics

The report again confirms that digital technologies and innovations continue to fuel increasingly demanding customer expectations for better, faster and more transparent service. Likewise, it validates that the companies that respond to those challenges by readily embracing a digital mindset are the ones that reap the benefits of a digital supply chain that is agile, fully automated and self-learning, said Prest.

“The pace with which technological innovations have been adopted within supply chains over the past six years of our survey is truly astounding,” he noted. “We’re well past the early adopter phase; indeed, those companies that were on the bleeding edge are already experiencing real, measurable and decisive competitive advantages within their marketplaces.”

So much so, in fact, that in framing up the report Sopher and his research team added two new sections this year based on lessons learned from studying those organizations: four stages of digital maturity and a self-assessment to help companies benchmark their own level of supply chain digital consciousness.

“Both of these new sections are intended to give readers better perspective on their own progress down the path to an increasingly digital supply chain within the context of what our respondents are telling us—and have told us year over year,” he added.

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This issue of MHI Solutions tackles the important topic of digital technologies in the supply chain industry, especially as it relates the transportation and logistics. Transportation plays a central role in supply chains, whether they are local or global enterprises. And just like the overall supply chain, transportation is facing a digital revolution including new solutions for tracking road, rail, sea and air freight and parcel transportation. These digital technologies are disrupting the industry, but they are also providing im-portant new solutions for transportation inefficiencies and urban logistics challenges. They are also creating new digital business models that enhance transparency and sustainability and contribute to end-to-end supply chain visibility. Like the innovations impacting supply chains, these trends are being driven by the growth of e-commerce and the consumers’ never-ending need for better, faster and cheaper. Ignoring them is done at your own peril.

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