Why is still technology the best competitive advantage for your supply chain?

For almost twenty years, we have seen how information technology has done wonders in improving the performance of supply chains around the world. Technology, undeniably, is the main factor of competitiveness in our commercial world. Recall how Walmart overcame Sears thanks to a much more developed logistics, even though the latter had all the chances to prevail. The success of Walmart, which can also be seen in the case of Amazon or Alibaba, is the effective use of information technology for winning and protecting the advantage that has been achieved in the face of competition.

Regardless of the industry to which your company belongs, it is crucial that your business has a digital strategy that allows you to excel among your competitors. Knowing how to structure this strategy requires effort and enough knowledge. First and foremost, it is important to constantly think about the opportunities and business possibilities you can offer online. The world is increasingly demanding more Internet purchases and services that can be provided through apps. What can you do about it? How much of your logistics processes have migrated from physical to digital? And, well, in addition to all of the above, how safe are your industrial secrets and your information in general?

Have not you thought about that? If, after almost twenty years, you have not understood the need for it, your business could be on the verge of extinction. Using information technology is the only way to dominate competitive relationships, not just locally, and to expand borders to new markets. Why? For the simple reason that there is a growing influence of information technology on consumers around the world. Technology has determined the growth of demand. This is a factor always present in technological revolutions (something that already happened during the Industrial Revolution.) In developing countries, more and more Internet users, and, therefore, more potential customers, appear daily.

Read also: This Is How Delivery Services Will Work In The Future, by David Kiger

Today’s consumers have a huge amount of information available in real time. A consumer, anywhere in the world, can check prices and specifications. They can receive email notifications about sales promotions without touching a physical catalog.

Many companies still do not seem to be aware that e-commerce is a highly effective interaction system, and, rather than a mere trend, it is actually becoming a general rule that will be very difficult to overcome in human history.

However, others are making great strides, and have modified all the logistics processes of their supply chains to offer a wide variety of products and services that can be purchased and received by a click. Even thanks to advances in the field of 3D printing, it may be possible for consumers to print the products they buy. Who knows?

The Internet has changed everything. CEOs of millions of companies have been working hand in hand with armies of engineers, programmers, and designers to find the components, parts, assemblies, and mechanisms that enable suppliers and distributors to meet a set of standardization criteria that make it possible to expand the frontiers of e-commerce. E-commerce is not simply a way of doing business: It is the way to do business today. This, little by little, has left behind the era of catalog sales.

amazon_ecommerce_logistics_supply chain_warehouse
Image courtesy of Álvaro Ibáñez at Flickr.com

If you have not done this necessary migration, it is important that you start by asking yourself a number of issues that could lead you to the forefront of business. On the one hand, you should ask yourself about the way your customers use the Internet to interact every day. What social media do they use? Which are their consumption habits? In what age range? Are they millennials? That is one aspect of the battlefield that you should keep in mind. What do you know about Big Data, by the way?

On the other hand, how much visibility do you have in Google searches? In Google Play? What should you do to get your current and potential customers to find you so that you can meet their needs more effectively? Moreover, what has your competition been doing? Do they produce on demand? How are their distribution processes? What do you know about SEO?

It is a fact. The way to enter and dominate a market has been redefined. There is a turning point of a conceptual nature that affects the way all companies do business nowadays. Not adapting to those changes means falling behind and disappearing slowly. One of these changes, perhaps the most dynamic one, has to do with the simplification of the ways in which all agents involved in the supply chain are related. This change of design focused on simplification, and systematic standardization has produced a remarkable consequence, impossible to ignore. Some companies, such as Google, Amazon, Tesla, Apple, or Microsoft, have dominated the industries to which they belong, to the point that consumers think that those companies and their industries are synonymous. For many people, computers mean Microsoft; information means Google; and connecting with friends means Facebook.

It’s never too late to start!

Recommended: E-commerce Supply Chain Strategy

* Featured Image courtesy of Photo Mix at Pexels.com

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