Companies around the globe are striving to speed up their logistics digitization plans to meet continuing pandemic challenges, but nearly half of them are hindered in that process by a lack of the necessary technology skills among their employees, a survey shows.
Fully 90% of companies are somewhere along their digital journey and nearly half (42%) of them have accelerated those plans to cope with the pandemic, according to the study by supply chain planning software vendor ToolsGroup and the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP).
But talent deficits threaten to slow that progress, with 42% of respondents saying they are handling staff/skills shortages poorly or very poorly, the study “Digital Transformation in Supply Chain Planning 2021” found.
Researchers for the survey contacted more than 200 supply chain professionals around the world from manufacturing, retail, consumer packaged goods, aftermarket parts, wholesale distribution, third-party logistics (3PL) firms, and consulting organizations.
Their results showed that the top three business drivers for digitizing planning are: the ability to keep up with evolving customer behaviors and expectations (44%); the need to increase automation to focus staff on higher level activities (43%); and an overall desire to improve business performance (42%). Those options were followed by other factors like: improving customer service levels, improving reaction to unplanned disruptions, and increasing supply chain resilience.
However, those goals are often stymied by roadblocks such as: a skills deficit among their staff (41%), data quality/lack of data (34%), Covid-related uncertainty (28%), an existing rigid technology structure (28%), and fear of change (28%).
“In our 2019 survey, the biggest factor holding back digital transformation was ‘fear of change’. Today we see a sharp contrast as Covid-related demand uncertainty has accelerated digitization to enable future resilience,” Caroline Proctor, chief marketing officer of ToolsGroup, said in a release. “Technologies such as demand forecasting and inventory optimization, which automate decision making and free up working capital while guaranteeing service, are top priorities for investment.”
42% of organizations say the pandemic has accelerated their supply chain planning digital transformations. DOWNLOAD the new global survey report: Digital Transformation in Supply Chain Planning 2021 https://t.co/JVq46Uu36o #supplychainresilience #digitaltransformation #survey pic.twitter.com/Rv0luVMH6t— ToolsGroup (@ToolsGroup) May 12, 2021