Be a Digital Disruptor and Win

August 9, 2018 David Cahn

A digital disruption is a transformation that is caused by emerging digital technologies and business models. These innovative new technologies and models can impact the value of existing products and services offered in the industry, actually disrupting the current market and causing businesses to re-evaluate their competitive advantage.

Ignoring digital disruptions can impact businesses. Remember Polaroid? The company led the market with its cameras that created instant pictures. Yet in 2001, the Polaroid Corporation filed for federal bankruptcy protection because the company failed to make the smooth transition from analog to digital cameras. The corporation decided to bet on their past innovations and, as a result, lost to companies who jumped on the digital bandwagon. By keeping abreast of changes in demand, businesses can follow the trends and adjust their strategies to embrace these changes, which will help them to thrive and grow profits.

Today’s digital disruptors are companies like Amazon and Uber, who use technologies to out maneuver the competition and build growth. Disruptors can be startup companies or long-established businesses. A wait-and-see attitude will not give a business sufficient time to make a comeback when the disruptor begins to dominate the industry. 

Companies must continuously reinvent their business using digital disruptive technology or watch from the sidelines while they lose market share. Yet, many businesses still struggle with acceptance, and others don’t know where to start the journey.

Digital disruption begins with acceptance of digital transformation using digital technologies within operations and ecosystems. Today’s technology allows all business stakeholders to share a single network, connecting and collaborating on supply chain operations from one end of the enterprise to the other. Each trading partner has access to information generated through the network in order to gain visibility to all aspects of production, procurement, transportation and distribution. With the proper information, executives can make qualified decisions that drive improvements in the business.

Digital Supply Networks (DSN) are part of a digital transformation journey, providing a technology foundation for improving inter-business processes, expanding supply chain relationships, increasing revenues and reducing operating costs. DSNs create greater opportunities by integrating suppliers, customers, and logistics service providers in various ways depending on the level of inter-business processes that are performing.

One method is to connect via ERP-to-ERP integrations with high-volume suppliers and customers to streamline and automate sell-side and buy-side transactions. A second technique is through some type of portal for order capture and invoicing for inter-business automation. Finally, some leading DSNs provide email as a simple onboarding method to digitize an inter-business process without requiring supply chain partners to have any integration software.

With a digital transformation in the supply chain, silos dissolve and every part of the ecosystem has full visibility to what is happening from end-to-end. Supply and demand signals can travel through the network uninhibited, alerting the appropriate parties to low levels of raw materials or inventory, or seasonal spikes in demand. Because trading partners get this information in real time through the digital supply network, they can react accordingly. Digital disruptions from digital transformations will result in huge gains in customer satisfaction, profits and efficiencies.

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Product and services innovation using Digital Transformation