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Become a PLUS+ subscriber and you'll get access to all Supply Chain Management Review premium content including:

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  • 7 Magazine Issues per year of Supply Chain Management Review magazine.

  • Companion Digital Editions. Searchable replicas of each magazine issue. Read them in any web browser. Delivered by email faster than printed issues.

  • Digital Editions Archives. Every article, every chart and every table as it appeared in the magazine for all archive issues back to 2010.

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Just my (re-) imagination

The digital re-imagination of supply chains is for real: Leaders have successfully implemented digital technologies into their supply chains company wide and laggards need to catch up to stay in the game. Our authors surveyed leaders to find out how they are taking their supply chains digital.

By ·

Change is powerful. But, the pain associated with change is one reason companies often move slowly to embrace new ways of doing business. There are times, however, when change is so sweeping it can’t be ignored: In his book, “The Third Wave,” Alvin Toffler wrote about three societal waves of change. The first was the settled agricultural wave, the second was the industrial wave, and the third was the post-industrial wave, or as he also called it “the information age.” We believe we are entering into a fourth wave of change, a “connected wave” that is based on the evolution of the information age into a digital age as exemplified by this quote:

“The 20th century was about dozens of markets of millions of consumers. The 21st century is about millions of markets of dozens of consumers,”
­­—Joe Kraus, Google Ventures, BBC News Magazine

The digitization of markets is transforming the competitive landscape across industries to omni-channel marketing, sales and fulfillment. E-commerce is becoming “connected commerce,” with everything from consumer goods to building materials to specialty chemicals being marketed, bought, and sold on line by customers who are “connected” to markets and suppliers. Competition can come from anyone, anywhere and anytime. Companies find themselves simultaneously as competitors, customers, partners, and suppliers with one another. The digital technologies that are driving this wave of transformation are:
• the Internet of Things (IoT) and mobile devices
(including GPS);
• the Cloud and pervasive computing;
• Big Data and analytics (business intelligence); and
• social media.

Going digital
What does it mean to go digital? Companies must understand and leverage these digital technologies to compete in the digital markets of the 21st century. They must analyze the unique characteristics of their customers and prospective customers to develop personalized, segmented market and channel strategies. The proliferation of different market segment service requirements, products, and demand are driving new supply fulfillment and network design requirements.

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