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Using Integration Technology to Accelerate Digital Business in the Supply Chain

Using Integration Technology to Accelerate Digital Business in the Supply Chain


Ajit Melarkode, Vice President, Asia Pacific & Japan, Boomi

As with any other region, businesses across the Asia Pacific region can face expected and unforeseen disruptions to their operations, hindering their ability to continue operating as normal, work with suppliers and meet customer needs. These types of ripple effects are showing supply chain organizations and operators the true value of being nimble in response to sudden market shifts, and of managing supplier risks.

Organizations understand the value of having the flexibility to adapt to these changes, and the visibility to see their exposure to issues affecting their supply chain in real-time. Digital technologies have evolved to enable future-focused businesses to manage the growing volumes of data they are generating across the organization to derive actionable insights. These businesses have demonstrated how fully integrated, advanced technologies can help produce better outcomes, particularly when it matters most.

A recent study by Boomi found that artificial intelligence (AI), security innovation, big data analytics, the Internet of Things (IoT), and integration-platform-as-a-service (iPaaS) are the top five innovation initiatives for executives in the region, and 59 percent of the global respondents agreed that getting the technology right over the next 12 months will ensure their continued success. Whilst most companies may be familiar with AI and IoT, all may not be familiar with iPaaS or the very latest in security technologies.

The key for supply chain and organizations and operators to achieve this transformation into an agile, digital business is accelerating their adoption of familiar as well as evolving data-driven, intelligent supply chain models and integration technology. While 76 percent of supply chain organizations were investing in the digital business or planning to do so, at the end of last year, the ripple effects from the global pandemic have led many organizations to re-examine transformation plans. According to research by global consulting firm EY, 67 percent of businesses in the Asia Pacific region reported that they are taking steps to change their supply chain, while 39 percent are reassessing their digital transformation plans to enable them to be more agile.

To ensure that new digital business practices and supply chain technologies are successfully adopted, companies need to simultaneously assess new solutions while supporting organizational change. This is critical to overcoming barriers to digital transformation that plague companies in the region, such as insufficient in-house technical skills and restrictive budgets.

Using Integration Technology to Shed Light on Supply Chain Operations

The first step in achieving successful digitization of supply chain operations is obtaining full visibility into the people, processes and technologies that are being deployed in the organization. This is achieved through the integration of siloed applications, data and processes. However, traditional methods of integrating data are often costly to maintain and complex to manage. This does not enable supply chain organizations and operators to be fully data-driven in their operations or experience the flexibility and agility benefits of cloud technologies.

Companies need modern data platforms at the foundation of this change to derive the most business value and efficiency from technology investments secure and reliable platforms that can integrate in real-time across applications and data across teams, business units (BUs), subsidiaries and regions can empower businesses to organize their data, be assured of their robustness and automate workflows between applications to drive their operations forward.

Creating a Strong Foundation for Future Supply Chain Operations

Cloud-based integration platforms, that are simple to deploy, and combine data with systems, processes, IoT sensors, applications, and people, will become essential in helping supply chain organizations and operators accelerate their transformation and successfully manage rapidly changing market environments. The capabilities this visibility is providing supply chain organizations are enabling them to compete in the global marketplace, manage operations more efficiently and improve processes such as sales and operations planning (S&OP).

For example, semiconductor manufacturer GlobalFoundries, LINX Cargo Care Group, and global packaging producer Amcor are taking advantage of the visibility they have gained into their data, are unifying internal systems across their organizations, and are connecting them with customers and partners. Their adoption of a technology platform to unlock their data has enabled these companies to strengthen supply chain partnerships, improve customer interactions and fulfil orders more efficiently.

These and other future-focused organizations are creating strong foundations for navigating future challenges and embracing the digital future that includes harnessing AI, blockchain and other advanced technologies. Supply chain organizations and operators must take bold steps to achieve digital business operations. A consolidated digital ecosystem will allow modern organizations in the Asia Pacific region to focus on strategic initiatives to bring new applications and services to market faster, delivery of exceptional customer experiences and increasing overall competitiveness.