Digital Supply Chains Are Now Table Stakes

By John Paxton, CEO, MHI

Disruption and resilience are the hot topics in our industry today. Beyond the physical disruption caused by the pandemic, firms also faced business model disruption as they found their supply chains unable to quickly respond and recover. However, some companies have thrived over the last year—largely because they made forward looking investments in digital supply chain innovation.

According to a recent IDC supply chain survey, 60% of companies expect their business to be disrupted within the next three years by a competitor with better supply chain capabilities. So, they expect the supply chain itself, or their lack of ability to quickly respond to disruption, will actually cause the disruption. This means that not investing in the tools and technologies needed to support transparent and resilient digital supply chains will be a significant risk to your business survival moving forward.

Technologies that facilitate operational efficiency by harnessing real-time data to make informed decisions and mitigate risk are now critical. These technologies include IIoT, artificial intelligence, robotics and automation, cloud computing and advanced analytics.

The 2021 MHI Annual Industry Report: Innovation Driven Resilience: How technology and innovation help supply chains thrive in unprecedented times provides new insights into the benefits of these technologies and the leading trends driving digital supply chains.  The report also finds that critical investments are being made with 45% of respondents saying they intend to spend more than $1 million over the next two years on digital supply chains, and 12% expect to spend more than $10 million.

This issue of MHI Solutions focuses on the adoption of these digital solutions, including best practices, leading trends and getting your supply chain data house in order. Measuring and improving your Supply Chain Digital Consciousness Index, or DCI, is the starting point.

Digital supply chain innovation was on full display at ProMatDX and the event continues on-demand as a resource for supply chain solution sourcing, interaction and education at

Another great way to stay at the forefront of these innovations is to attend the 2021 MHI Annual Conference, October 3-6 in Phoenix, AZ. Attending is also a great opportunity to collaborate with MHI and WERC members while exchanging ideas with your peers on the most important issues and trends impacting our industry. See pages 76-82 for more information on this event.

I also encourage you to download the 2021 MHI Annual Industry Report at and use it to access and improve your Supply Chain DCI.

While the pandemic shows signs of waning, the world and your supply chain will never be the same. Transparent and resilient supply chains are now table stakes. The good news is the technology tools are available, it is just a matter of prioritizing and planning these critical supply chain investments. Firms that answer that call will be ready to respond, recover and thrive amid future disruption.

I hope this issue of MHI Solutions helps provide the information and resources you need to assist you on your digital journey.

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