Top challenges in digitising supply chains

Connecting disparate supply chain data cited as a top priority among business leaders

FourKites, a supply chain visibility provider, has reported that top challenges for supply chain leaders include cost reduction, improved customer experience, and faster delivery times.

The firm’s latest survey, titled “Data-Driven Decisions: Why Many Supply Chains Are Falling Behind”, found that fewer than half carriers are leveraging their supply chain data to inform their strategy and 14 per cent are not using supply chain data at all to make decisions. 

FourKites partnered with international research data and analytics group YouGov to poll 250 UK and 250 US supply chain leaders across every industry to understand how they’re digitising their supply chains and mitigating risk.

READ: Digital Supply Chain

A total of 61 per cent of UK respondents recognise the importance of connecting disparate supply chain data, compared to 82 per cent of US respondents.

Meanwhile, 30 per cent of UK respondents plan to invest in technology to de-risk their supply chain over the next six to 12 months, compared to 54 per cent of respondents in the US.

Supply chain leaders are struggling to extract the information they need to make the data-driven decisions that will help them meet their strategic objectives, according to FourKites.

Specifically, 62 per cent of UK respondents say their supply chain digitisation is sub-par, whereas only 34 per cent of American respondents said the same.

“Two-thirds of responding companies are using supply chain data only for simple, day-to-day tasks, many have yet to realise the opportunity to look at their supply chain end-to-end to make informed, strategic decisions,” said Fabrizio Brasca, FourKites Chief Strategy Officer.

“At the root of this issue is the ongoing struggle to fully digitise the supply chain and have a single source of data.

“For instance, with a real-time view of inventory levels across facilities, supply chain leaders can proactively mitigate the risk of stockouts and prevent orders from being cut, leading to a better end-customer experience.”

READ: FourKites reveals promising trends in US-Mexico trade

Moreover, 35 per cent of UK respondents are using supply chain data to make strategic decisions, while 19 per cent say that supply chain data isn’t being used at all to make any type of decision. 43 per cent of all respondents struggle to integrate internal systems and have a single source of truth.

Additionally, nearly 52 per cent of all companies surveyed are diversifying their supplier/provider base in their efforts to de-risk their supply chains.

In May 2023, FourKites partnered with Gravity Supply Chain Solutions to offer real-time visibility into purchase orders and inbound shipments.

More recently, FourKites announced the debut of Fin AI, a new natural language interface that assists its clients in surfacing hidden insights.

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