Digitalization and the Supply Chain: Why Digital Transformation Is More Than Just a Buzzword

We get it. Change is intimidating. Giving up tried-and-true methods of managing the supply chain and moving on to something new can be daunting, leading many shippers to rely on manual steps like emailing carriers for quotes, phoning drivers for updates, and using paper for invoicing and record-keeping long after these processes have become outdated. What they often don’t realize, though, is that their resistance to digital transformation costs them time and money.

Digital transformation is more than a buzzword, especially when it comes to the supply chain and logistics management: it’s the future of the industry. And the sooner shippers get on board, the sooner they can reap the benefits. Here’s why.

Digital transformation increases visibility and efficiency

Shippers still relying on analog methods of doing business are sacrificing valuable visibility for familiarity. Pen and paper tactics reinforce the silos between different regions and even different functions of the supply chain, making it harder to see the big picture and make strategic improvements.

Digitizing processes across the supply chain allows different departments and locations to easily communicate, share information, and consolidate data. By using a global, cloud-based transportation management system (TMS), for example, shippers can pull up data and manage processes at the touch of a button, rather than digging through a dozen filing cabinets—saving time and headaches. With this increased visibility, they can also better pinpoint links in the chain that could be strengthened or streamlined to improve overall efficiency.

However, we realize there are times when the need to use paper documents is unavoidable, like when certain regions require physical documents to accompany every shipment. By using a system that has Optical Character Recognition (OCR) capabilities built-in, shippers can accommodate these needs without sacrificing visibility. At CTSI-Global, our OCR technology can quickly convert any physical documents (even a handwritten note) into an electronic format for processing and validation—ensuring there are no gaps in a shipper’s outlook.

Cloud technology provides flexibility

In 2020, shippers who relied heavily on on-premises systems and filing cabinets got a rude wake-up call in the form of a sudden work-from-home mandate that few were prepared for. From natural disasters to health crises, if something happens that prevents staff from accessing a physical location, the whole supply chain can grind to a halt—making cloud-based technology a must for the modern world.

Digital transformation provides much-needed flexibility, empowering certain staff to work remotely when required to keep the supply chain moving. This can also be a powerful retention tool, making it easier for employees to balance their work and personal commitments.

Digitalization improves customer service

Manually calling carriers for updates on in-transit shipments simply isn’t efficient. And if something goes wrong during transit, the first time you hear about it might be when clients are calling to complain that their shipment didn’t arrive when expected.

By leveraging a TMS with in-transit tracking features, shippers can easily keep an eye on the movements of their freight. This allows staff to provide better customer service since they can rapidly identify potential problems, communicate delays to customers, and deploy contingency plans. Better customer service means more repeat business and referrals—driving faster growth.

Don’t get left behind

At CTSI-Global, we’re not just experts in logistics management—we’re a technology-driven company that builds its solutions from the ground up. We know that digital transformation can be an intimidating prospect, but we’re here to partner with you every step of the way—so you can unlock all the benefits that modern supply chain technology can bring.

Technology moves fast—but so do we. Future-proof your supply chain by contacting us today.