Supply chain 3.0: Digitalization and AI helps procurement to make smarter, more connected decisions


Supply chain 3.0: Digitalization and AI helps procurement to make smarter, more connected decisions

Digital Transformation in procurement is tackling an array of challenges and unlocking a wealth of new opportunities. But where and how? We chat to Marc Theeuwes, VP of Strategic Development at Jabil, about the need for digital procurement and what processes can be transformed

Marc Theeuwes has been working in Digital Transformation for about 30 years now, as a business leader, professor at Stanford and an investor. Currently, he sees a real potential for digital tools to bring supply chain information more closely into the product creation cycle, so that supplier insights can be better leveraged at the design level, at the engineering level and the production level. “Digital transformation is really happening on a profound level in between each one of the phases of product creation, from design to engineering to production to delivery”, he says.

Supply chain 3.0 uses modern computing architecture

After Supply Chain 1.0, which was about commodities, and Supply Chain 2.0, which brought in more data, the scope is much larger than it used to be, now that many supply chains have moved to a global context.

“We need to move into a sort of supply chain 3.0, where we can apply more modern computing architectures like machine learning and AI to make faster and better decisions.”
Marc Theeuwes, VP of Strategic Development at Jabil

For Theeuwes, perhaps the primary opportunity for companies that are using data solutions, lies in enhancing the production creation cycle. A lot of the tools that are used to create products at the design-engineering-production phase are becoming increasingly digital. Now these are also creating interesting opportunities to interoperate each of these various different phases.

Digitally these different steps will be interconnected over time allowing supply chain and procurement information to be shared more seamlessly across all the different phases.

Procurement elevated from transactional management to strategic sourcing

Armed with automation, advanced analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI), procurement teams can be empowered to manage more complex categories to unlock new areas of value, while keeping downstream transactional activities seamless and efficient. In the study “Procurement: making digital transformation work for you”, experts from Kearney describe “how the function’s role has been elevated from transactional management to strategic sourcing.” Now, backed by digital tools that automate downstream procurement activities, the focus of procurement can be on collaborating with a network of external partners to create new, innovative products and business models. To deliver on this, procurement will need to tackle two challenges: adopting technology to become more effective, and using digital innovation to work in new ways.

scoutbee regularly speaks with experts around the world to learn and share the latest perspectives on how Smarter Supplier Discovery can best be applied to global industries. In this video, scoutbee CEO Gregor Stühler and Marc Theeuwes, VP of Strategic Development at Jabil, discuss how digital transformation is changing procurement, how Supply Chain 3.0 is shaping up, and what value can be driven by new software solutions.

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