3 Ways to Leverage Data Through Corporate Innovation in the Supply Chain

With the mega shifts of Digitisation and Sustainability, learn ways to apply data and digital to reshape your supply chain with 3 radical innovation examples. 

For decades, global organisations have continuously optimised supply chains for cost and efficiency.

Now, the globalization of supply chains has created an environment of risk, manifested in two mega shifts — digitisation and sustainability. This is creating an urgency for organisations to aim their corporate entrepreneurship at digital and net-zero, as recognised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Digitisation is bringing important paradigm shifts in numerous industries, giving us many radical innovation examples pushing the mark of communication, automation, prediction and personalization. In supply chains, it’s accelerating collaboration between partners to solve common frictions and achieve mutual goals.

Sustainability in operating and business models is the second macro shift, catalysed by accelerating climate change. Global organisations are facing increasing pressure from regulators and consumers to have greener and more transparent products and operations.

As a consequence of these changes, we’ve isolated several challenges faced by supply chains today:

  1. Fragmented players with high competition
  2. High reliance on economies of scale
  3. Complex, globalised distribution networks
  4. Increasing regulatory pressure on quality and compliance
  5. Lack of information sharing between the market and R&D

As the World Economic Forum identified, digitisation has brought a step-change in our ability to capture, process and transmit information. These challenges have high potential to be solved by leveraging data, and it’s the market leaders who have the unfair advantage due to their visibility throughout the entire supply chain.

Some organisations are solving these challenges through digital innovation. 

Let’s take a look at 3 radical innovation examples that innovative entrepreneurs are applying to reshape supply chains today, to stimulate your corporate innovation initiatives.

Radical Innovation Examples

B2B Customer Experience

Leveraging digital tools is a powerful way to create glue within supply chains, facilitating relationships and collaboration. 

Digitising key operational data enables a higher bandwidth of information to be shared in meaningful 1:1 relationships. 

This deeper form of connection helps organisations find discrete ways of supporting the rapidly-evolving needs of customers, just like the manufacturer Catalent achieved by developing a digital platform for modular production aimed at flexible clinical trials in the Pharmaceutical industry.

Software-Hardware Platforms

Supply chains aim to solve common goals — at the end of the day, they’re treating diseases, catering for diverse tastes in FMCG products, or manufacturing essential tools for everyday life. 

This process brings a number of mutual frustrations. Leading organisations are leveraging their visibility into the details of the manufacturing process to create new and bespoke data types required by all partners. 

Similar to the edible barcode and scanning platform developed by TruTag, the new data type is a horizon 3 innovation that paves the way for diverse business models with hardware-software interplays.

Bridging The Insights Gap

With the sheer number of players across most manufacturing supply chains, there’s an enormous distance between raw materials producers and companies operating with the end consumer. 

Global manufacturers have long-time experience and partners’ trust, which provides them with a vantage point to identify needs for insights across the supply chain. 

Flatiron Health is one of the few radical innovation examples pioneering this approach in Healthcare, aggregating cancer treatment data to provide researchers with actionable insights for development.

At Studio Zao, we work with teams to help digest paradigm shifts into actionable market opportunities, radical innovation into compelling business models fit for any industry. With Digital Transformations the norm, we can support your teams to understand what’s important, and generate validated business cases to help you get ahead in our rapidly changing world. 

Find out more about how we delivered a Remote Intrapreneurship Programme to Capture Digital Growth Opportunities

Written by Peter Neyra,
Senior Programme Associate | LinkedIn

Interested in how Corporate Innovation can transform your supply chain?

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