Navigating the Path to Supply Chain Digitisation: From Dream to Reality

Following our blog from last month, Supply Chain Digitisation – Dream or Reality?, people asked if we could provide some tips on best practices. Having worked with a wide range of clients across both the B2B and B2C spectrum and experienced various approaches approaches from companies embarking on the supply chain digitisation journey, we thought there was no one better to ask than our own – Richie Gunasekara.
Following our blog from last month, Supply Chain Digitisation – Dream or Reality?, people asked if we could provide some tips on best practices. Having worked with a wide range of clients across both the B2B and B2C spectrum and experienced various approaches approaches from companies embarking on the supply chain digitisation journey, we thought there was no one better to ask than our own – Richie Gunasekara.

As Head of Implementations & Learning at Radaro, Richie spearheads the digital transformation of supply chains for enterprise brands. As a subject matter expert, Richie excels in bridging the gap between traditional processes and modern, efficient operations tailored to both B2B and B2C sectors. Through the strategic implementation of Radaro across outbound operations, Richie ensures that solutions are customised to meet unique challenges within organisations, enhancing operational efficiency and customer satisfaction – all whilst aligning with business objectives.

We sat down with Richie to glean insights on what distinguishes a successful digital transformation journey.

 

Question 1:

When digitising the supply chain and last mile operations, have you noticed any difference between B2B and B2C operations?

Richie:

Yes – Scale and Communication Expectations.

Firstly, the scale and volume of shipments.

B2B operations often involve larger, bulk shipments sent to a limited number of business clients or distribution centres, whereas B2C operations usually consist of somewhat smaller, individual packages delivered to a vast number of end consumers. This difference fundamentally impacts how the last mile is structured and optimised to drive operational efficiency.

Secondly, expectations and demands around transparency and communication vary between B2B and B2C. B2B clients prioritise reliability and consistency, valuing detailed pre-shipment information and adherence to delivery schedules, whereas for B2C operations, consumers expect real-time updates and the flexibility around delivery schedules.

 

Question 2:

What would you say are the 3 critical steps businesses can take to ensure their digital journey success?

Richie:

  1. Assign a Project Champion
  2. Define Clear Objectives
  3. Understand Existing Processes
 
Assign a Project Champion

One of the most crucial steps is to designate a project lead or a digital transformation champion within the business. This individual should possess a clear understanding of both the technical and business aspects of the digital journey. Their role involves orchestrating the project, managing stakeholders, and ensuring that the digital transformation aligns with the company’s strategic objectives.

The project champion acts as a bridge between the team implementing the solution and the business units that will use them. Their leadership is pivotal in maintaining focus, driving adoption, and handling change management (we often say that this is 50% of the problem!), ensuring that the project stays on course and delivers measurable results.

Define Clear Objectives

A common pitfall in digital transformation projects is diving into an implementation without a clear understanding of what the business aims to achieve. Before embarking on the digital journey, it’s absolutely essential to define specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound objectives. Focusing on the “quick wins” really helps here!

Whether it’s improving customer satisfaction, enhancing operational efficiency, reducing costs, or increasing visibility into the supply chain, having clear goals helps guide and define the key requirements when implementing a last mile technology such as Radaro. This clarity also facilitates better communication and alignment within the business unit/s, ensuring that everyone understands the purpose and expected outcomes of the digital transformation.

 
Understand Existing Processes

Before introducing any digital solutions, it’s critical to have a comprehensive understanding of the current job data, workflows, and processes. This is something we do very early-on in our engagement with our customers. It involves mapping out existing operations to identify inefficiencies, bottlenecks, and areas that are “ripe for improvement” through the digitisation.

Understanding the current state of operations allows businesses to make informed decisions about where to implement digital solutions for the greatest impact. It also helps in customising solutions to fit the unique needs of the business, rather than forcing the business to adapt to off-the-shelf software. This step is crucial for ensuring that the digital transformation is relevant and tailored to the specific challenges and opportunities within the business.

 

Question 3:

Based on the clients who have set the benchmark for implementations, have you identified any common traits that you’d look to replicate with others?

Richie:

This is an interesting one! I’ll go back to what I said earlier – having a project champion in the business is absolutely critical.

Build a culture of transparency and open communication from the onset of the project. This involves setting up regular check-ins, transparently sharing progress, challenges, and successes, and ensuring that all stakeholders are on the same page.

Balancing the involvement of key stakeholders whilst ensuring the project maintains momentum, is a fine art that successful implementations master. Losing momentum is possibly the worst thing that could happen in an implementation. It’s a project manager’s nightmare! Many of our successful implementations (and I say many) are a result of this key “ingredient”.

Fostering a professional bond between the technical account manager and the business project lead can enhance trust and collaboration. I think this relationship is foundational to navigating the complexities and achieving a successful outcome.

 

Final words from Richie…

The approach undertaken by myself, and the Radaro team, has been to work closely with clients to understand their specific challenges and objectives. By doing so, we ensure that the digitisation of their supply chain and outbound operations not only improves their operational efficiency but also aligns with their overall business strategy, whether they are in the B2B, B2C or a hybrid space. This tailored approach, grounded in a deep understanding of the nuances between B2B and B2C operations, is what enables us to deliver value and drive innovation with our customers.

 

So there you go, digitising your Supply Chain does not have to remain a dream.

 

If you’re ready to embrace the change from paper and cumbersome manual processes, to a streamlined digital experience, providing a range of operational benefits and cost savings, all while improving your customer experience and simplifying your Drivers day, now is the time to initiate discussions with Radaro.

Contact the Radaro team or email support@radaro.com. Plus you can see a range of Case Studies from those who have already undertaken the journey.