In the era of digitisation, cost pressure, individualisation and complexity are still the main external factors that pose a challenge to today's companies and force them to draw up strategic responses. The most important endogenous trends that the companies themselves need to move forward with are the digitisation of business processes and the greater transparency of supply chains. The key driver for all players, however – and this development is relatively new – is the end customer, whose preferences are making themselves noticeable not just in the trading sector but also in industry and services, and in a way that plays a key role in the competitive arena. In turn, the answer to many of the expectations of the end customer is digitisation.
Just under three in four study respondents describe the opportunities arising for their company as a result of the digital transformation as very good or good. At the same time, more than one in two companies want to hold back their own projects until proven solutions are available. One in three respondents point to the high or very high risks associated with digitisation. The reasons for this could be the required investments in tangible assets, a lack of personnel or the major need for action in the area of qualification in order to prepare employees for new processes, ways of thinking and business models. According to the study, the focus is both on promoting IT skills and on a culture of experimentation and learning.
For the company as a whole, this means that the digital transformation will become part and parcel of the corporate strategy. The precondition for this is that transparency is assured along the entire vale added chain, and this is an issue that many companies still need to address. The desired data are often not available, interfaces are not defined, or the quality of data is inadequate. Almost 80 percent of study participants say a transparent supply chain is relevant or very relevant to the success of companies. In this vein, transport or incoming goods data are already widely and systematically shared today – but this is not the case with inventory data, demand forecasts or data on material flow disruptions. In other words, data protection considerations are not the only obstacle to the sharing of data.
The aim of the study was to investigate the digital transformation with regard to current trends and relevant strategies for logistics and supply chain management. Particular attention was focused on opportunities resulting from digital transformation in these areas. To carry out the study, the authors defined four central topics: