- The "Next-Generation Supply Chain" has three distinct characteristics: digital, on-demand and always-on, according to the 2017 MHI Annual Industry Report, developed jointly by Deloitte and the MHI.
- Out of all survey respondents, 80% believe that digital supply chains are imminent, with 16% currently embracing the concept and another 64% intending to engage within the next five years.
- The need for digital logistics is underscored by 2016's Cyber Monday, which generated 426 orders per second and 1 billion digital transactions in this one day alone. Digitization allows networks to communicate at each step of the chain, enabling instant results.
The digital supply chain, fueled by customer expectations and the availability of vast amounts of data, is a necessary adaptation to increased demand and e-commerce transactions. The exponential rise in collectable data powers the move toward the sharing of information, which speeds and tweaks the supply chain for greater accuracy and efficiencies.
Digitizing the supply chain involves a continuous flow of information between the physical and digital worlds. The sharing of data passes information directly to staff who employ it while working within the supply chain and can therefore make necessary adjustments to orders and production. This back and forth exchange of information — digital and practical — acts as a gateway between effectively integrated technologies.
Customer expectations are ever-growing. In some markets, next-day service isn't sufficient, with same-day delivery now an expectation. Going forward, it is likely that "on-demand," an extraordinary level of service that requires supply chains to provide anywhere, anytime delivery whenever and wherever customers specify is next, a requirement that will tax the existing bounds of logistics capability.