When it comes to digital maturity, the supply chain and logistics industry are lagging.
A recent report by Janeiro Digital found that most supply chain and logistics professionals (84.7%) see their organizations as average or lagging behind in digital maturity compared to others in the industry, 50% of survey respondents also reported that they aren’t implementing any new technologies.
Despite this shortage of digital advancement, only about 1 in 5 of those reporting that their companies aren’t implementing new technologies believe that this stagnation is the wrong move.
“Unlike many other industries, we’ve found that companies with lagging digital maturity in the supply chain industry don’t perceive legacy technology and technical debt as the issue—their biggest roadblocks come back to cultural attitudes hindering digital transformation,” said Justin Bingham, chief technology officer at Janeiro Digital.
“Part of the reason is that this is not naturally a digital business—supply chain and logistics professionals’ core aptitude has historically been around concrete and physical objects such as packages and vehicles, rather than digital technology,” added Bingham.
These cultural obstacles came to the surface when respondents were asked about challenges their organization has encountered when looking to implement new technologies:
- A lack of enthusiasm or support for change was directly cited by 23.5% of respondents.
- Unrealistic budgets (27.6%) were another prominent issue cited, which points to the lack of appetite for change and even a reluctance to put resources behind it.
- Only 4.1% of survey respondents felt strongly that their existing technology deployments are holding them back from new innovations. A whopping 67.4% don’t see their current technology deployments as an issue.
Plentiful Opportunities for Innovation
On the positive side, the survey results also indicate that there’s no shortage of opportunities for digital growth in the supply chain and logistics industry:
Only 15.3% of respondents were confident of their market leadership when it comes to implementing digital technologies.
Respondents cited the greatest opportunity for digital transformation around back-office efficiency (25.5%), closely followed by customer interface and user experience (24.5%) and business intelligence (22.5%).
Interestingly, despite only 4.1% of survey respondents reporting that they feel their existing technology deployments are holding them back from new innovations, 23.5% indicated that they’d encountered issues with legacy technology or infrastructure when they did look to implement new technologies.
“Before any digital transformation can start, a culture of innovation is vital," said Jonathan Bingham, CEO of Janeiro Digital. "But understanding the technical realities of the business is also critical—especially in supply chain and logistics where already tight margins make investments in new digital technologies feel riskier.With these obstacles, inaction can feel like the safer road forward. But in reality, it’s the riskiest long-term strategy a business can take. Making the decision to move forward with innovation and digital transformation is the first step towards finding stability and long-term success.”