The recent report ‘The State of European Supply Chains’ produced by Reuters, shows that digital transformation continues to be a critical focus for supply chain professionals in European organisations: 75% of the people we surveyed said it’s one of their uppermost priorities and 27% said it’s their top priority.

Despite this, many still haven’t made the fundamental changes to fully realise the benefit of new technologies. Only 12% of organisations think their investment in digital transformation is enough to fully support the development of their supply chain, with the majority (75%) saying it only partially meets their needs.

Digital transformation is, of course, a means to an end. The report delves deeper into where people are channelling investments, how effective those investments have been and what their future priorities are. Let’s take a look at some of these key findings.

Improved visibility and reporting

68% of organisations are prioritising investment in supply chain monitoring, tracking and visibility solutions over the next 12 months — making it the number one priority for digital transformation. And it appears these investments are paying off, as 81% say that investments in this area have made their supply chains more resilient.

This increased importance of data integration and analytics lies in the growing understanding that they’re the driving force behind a raft of benefits — risk reduction, cost cutting, flexibility, inventory management, forecasting and more. As Mikkel Rasmussen, Senior Vice President – Global Head of Sales at Maersk, states.

Quickly responding to consumer demand spikes will boost sales and growth. This will be possible by having clear insights and the ability to act on them effectively and at scale.

Mikkel Rasmussen
Mikkel Rasmussen
Senior Vice President – Global Head of Sales at Maersk

With supply chain management that increases visibility, you can identify opportunities to reduce risk, cut costs, avoid disruptions, drive availability and react swiftly to demand spikes — all improving overall resilience to overcome supply chain challenges.

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A single source of truth

Supporting new technologies requires a strong digital foundation to store and manage data. Businesses up and downstream in the supply chain are looking to establish a single source of truth, a centralised digital system that aggregates data and unlocks silos.

The research shows that high performers are more than twice as likely to have a single source of truth (40%) than the rest of the sample (18%). The most common technologies adopted to achieve this are Warehouse Management Systems (73%) and Transportation Management Systems (72%).

With a single source of truth, both people and systems can run from one data architecture, thus improving accessibility and easing the process of adding on new systems. When you streamline your data transfers, you increase the overall resilience of your operations by overcoming visibility and communication shortfalls that occur in the logistics and manufacturing stages.

Enhanced forecasting

Forecasting technology was cited in the survey as the technology with the biggest impact on resilience — results showed that 84% of respondents saw improved resilience from forecasting technology. It’s no wonder that 96% of high-performing organisations (‘ those who tackled disruptions rapidly and did so within their budget) from the survey are investing in forecasting technologies in the next 12 months, compared to only 47% of the rest of the sample.

Without an accurate forecast for demand, how can you look to the future with an idea of what your customers want and need? The answer is you can’t. As Geanina-Lavinia Sincu, Regional Head of Lead Logistics Products & Cold Chain Management at Maersk Europe, says

Big data and machine learning provide predictive insights on potential congestion points, while digital solutions offer real-time updates on order, statuses and scheduling changes. This increased visibility and awareness allows businesses to manage disruptions more effectively.

Geanina Lavinia Sincu
Geanina-Lavinia Sincu
Regional Head of Lead Logistics Products & Cold Chain Management at Maersk Europe

Forecasting solutions combine data from past supply chains with demand insights to help you make informed, accurate decisions about, for example, inventory levels or incoming trends.

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Shaken, stirred and delivered: The perfect blend of logistics solutions for Jimmy’s Cocktails

A perfect example of brands leveraging technology to streamline their supply chain management is Jimmy’s Cocktails. To keep their growth steady and boost their supply chain network, the brand needed a single partner to handle their logistics from end to end.

At Maersk, we helped to set up an extensive distribution network and robust last-mile delivery system. We provided a one-stop tracking solution with end-to-end shipment visibility as part of the five-step recipe for success: product transport, distribution network, warehouse optimisation, last-mile delivery and added value to the supply chain. This resulted in a 30% reduction in turnaround time, a significant drop in product damage and improved cost efficiency.

Integrating supply chain technology from start to finish

The path to developing resilient supply chains is clear: digital transformation. And as the landscape of future supply chain management looks ever more complex, technology is taking an increasingly central role in overcoming the challenges. How are you ensuring you stay up to date with the latest digital innovations within logistics?

For more information on navigating supply chain transformation, download the report:

With Maersk’s Lead Logistics Services, we plan and manage your logistics journey to take the complexity out of your supply chain. We offer integrated solutions that give you visibility across your supply chain operations while we synchronise inbound and outbound flows, streamline inventory and digitise processes. To find out more about developing a robust and responsive supply chain, contact us.















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