Automate at scale to augment human talent

Automation at scale is an important way to increase efficiency and ranks as the top critical factor for digitizing business processes.

Wide or full scale automation has increased more than 4X over the past three years.

Most supply chains are using automation and bots to reduce manual tasks in areas like demand planning, logistics and aftersales service. This shift has allowed them to refocus the workforce on more value-added activities that support customer-centered products and experiences such as direct interface with customers, working with the product development team to design better products and redefining strategies based on real-time customer input.

As leaders invest further in automation, they will need to navigate the human side of the human + machine equation so that people can make the most of technology tools. With the shortage of supply chain talent from the shop floor to the executive suite, supply chain leaders cannot solve this problem with automation alone. There is a divide to bridge.

38%

of supply chain leaders say that their organization’s non-technical workforce is ready to leverage the technology tools that they are given.

However, using it in the right ways and for the right functions—can alleviate some of the pressure.

Commit to making insight-driven decisions

A data-driven operating model is key to making better business decisions within supply chain operations and across the enterprise. A full 61% of supply chain leaders say that their organizations’ operating model is designed based on data rather than on experience and intuition.

76%

of supply chain leaders report widescale or full-scale data use today, up more than 2.5x from three years ago.

98%

expect to have data in wide use or at scale by 2023.

Digital technologies and powerful analytics enable access to data on every supply chain transaction—from where the raw materials were sourced to when an order lands on a customer's front porch. This "digital data thread" creates new insights across the supply chain. Not only can organizations be more predictive, targeted and agile, they can also view every decision through the lens of relevancy, resiliency and responsibility.

As powerful as data is to transforming supply chain operations, most organizations have yet to fully exploit its power. The right investments in AI can radically change this dynamic by helping organizations to extract trapped data, often inaccessible or residing in silos. This provides supply chain leaders will real-time insights and intelligence for making more informed decisions across the value chain—from design through service.

Scale cloud investments to support supply chains

Cloud is one of today’s most popular and important technologies because it provides secure, flexible computing capabilities to help organizations operate at speed and scale while providing cost benefits. Supply chain leaders are well aware of this, and many are developing cloud-first strategies. So it’s not a surprise that 80% think their organization has applied cloud at scale.

A cloud-first approach is a key tenet of digital supply chain transformation. The cloud provides massive computing power, with a simple, flexible, and affordable data and digital architecture that opens a myriad of possibilities for the supply chain. This enables leaders to manage service levels and costs and build resiliency and responsibility into their operations.

Using the public cloud decreases IT emissions by 5.9% or nearly 60 million tons of CO2 globally per year.

— Accenture Research, 2021

By fully embracing the cloud, leaders can create a supply chain that influences all its dimensions, i.e. product engineering, planning, procurement, manufacturing, fulfillment and service management.

Client case study

Semiconductor supplier increases profit by $3M

By transforming its spare parts planning process, the company increased efficiency. Learn more.

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Chris Karney

Managing Director, Global Supply Chain /Industry X Offering Lead – Accenture Operations

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