Challenges on the way to a transparent supply chain

Challenges on the way to a transparent supply chain

19. November 2020
Supply Chain Transparency - Challenges

The Corona pandemic has given a major boost to digitization in businesses. Online conferences and working from home have become part of everyday working life. The pandemic has also shown how important it is to be able to react flexibly to changing conditions. For digital pioneers, this is usually easier with a digital information structure and a more flexible way of working. For this reason, many companies have set themselves the goal of speeding up digitization within their companies. These digitization efforts are targeting not only the areas of communication and information exchange but also mobile working and customer service. However, on the way to a transparent supply chain, companies face varied challenges. This was also revealed by the survey of the 13th Hermes Barometer.

According to the survey of 200 logistics decision-makers in Germany, numerous obstacles, such as communication problems and security concerns, are delaying the realization of a transparent supply chain. As an example, only 32 percent of the companies surveyed have a digital real-time supply chain. However, around half (47 percent) stated that the relevance of a transparent supply chain has increased as a result of the Corona pandemic.

Current challenges in introducing innovative solutions 

A high investment requirement, data security and a lack of human resources are among the challenges that companies are currently facing with increasing digitalization. According to the Hermes survey, the lack of networking between trading partners is also a central obstacle on the way to a transparent supply chain. Due to complex supply chains, involving various partners and the implementation of a suitable digital solution present further challenges. Security concerns and a lack of trust also prevent many companies from sharing data with their partners. A central supply chain platform ensuring security of shared data and offering real-time updates is therefore of utmost importance.

System integration for 360-degree visibility

An additional challenge is the integration of different systems. Through data integration, functions can be integrated as part of a more comprehensive system. It is, thus, important to ensure the compatibility between various systems and to offer a reliable and secure data transmission. This allows all parties to obtain a 360-degree view of the supply chain and avoid errors in manual input.

Digital supply chain platforms such as make it possible to network all partners on one platform. It ensures the opportunity to exchange data securely and in real time. Additionally, an integrated track & trace system and various communication features make supply chains more transparent. This is a big step towards reducing communication problems. 

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