In a digital era, it should be easier than ever to deliver the hyper-personalized, hyper-relevant customer experiences that create value and keep competitors at bay. New IT—Big Data Analytics and its evolution into Artificial Intelligence with techniques like machine or deep learning, Blockchain, 3D printing, and Robotics—can cut supply chain complexity, accelerate responsiveness, and speed time to market.

A supply chain thus reinvented is a next-generation supply chain: smart, connected, living and learning, with the customer at the heart of everything it does. Faster, fitter and vastly more flexible, such a supply chain is also the foundation of an intelligent, Industry X.0 business, which embraces constant technological change—and profits from it.

Yet when Accenture recently surveyed over 900 Chief Supply Chain Officers and supply chain leadership executives across twelve industries and seven geographies to discover how they are leveraging digital to create competitive advantage, we found many of them failing to unlock value, and this despite the application of new IT right across the supply chain.

Learn More: Read our infographic on how New IT can turn the supply chain into a powerhouse of top-line growth

Most Chief Supply Chain Officers just aren’t working strategically with the right people in the C-suite. More than 80% identify the CIO or CTO as key stakeholders—not the CFO or COO, although these executives play increasingly critical roles as architects of long-term digital investment.

More than 70% of Chief Supply Chain Officers believe by 2020, the supply chain will be a key driver of better customer service for their organizations

To turn the supply chain into a competitive, growth-driving differentiator, Chief Supply Chain Officers need to bridge the strategic, C-suite disconnect that locks them out of business-wide decision-making. By leveraging the right C-suite connections, they could tackle the Leadership, Labor and Legacy systems issues that currently constitute their Top 3 challenges. And by targeting their investments in new IT to create next-generation supply chains, they could help shape the digitally reinvented enterprises of the future.



The time for Chief Supply Chain Officers to start driving the disruption of their own function is now.

Don Schulman

Senior Managing Director – Supply Chain & Operations


Mohammed Hajibashi

Consulting Managing Director – Supply Chain Management


Raghav Narsalay

Managing Director – Accenture Research

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