Today’s modern supply chains are not linear, but dynamic and multi-directional – and the digital solutions currently available to supply chain professionals only enhance that fact. The ability to do business overseas via virtual, instantaneous communications has allowed companies over the past few decades to increasingly outsource their production and distribution, leading to lower production costs and higher revenues, all while creating a globalized economy that is more vast and incredibly intricate than the lay person could imagine.
While supply chain complexity has dramatically increased as organizations rely on outsourcing non-core activities to allow greater focus on core business activities, businesses must operate as efficiently as possible to remain relevant and to experience longevity. In order compete while the global market grows more complex, businesses must focus on improving operational efficiencies and cost efficiencies. This can easily become an overwhelming task for a burgeoning boutique firm looking for global acknowledgement and relevancy.
While the benefits are clearly listed and the outcomes are commonly known, there is still a hesitancy and a lack of motivation to adopt technological changes in the existing business model. Many SMEs are unable to see the benefits of joining a B2B supply chain network-style solution, as opposed to “manually” competing for relevancy in a highly competitive supply chain environment.
Breaking the mold of traditional B2B communications and negotiations, the Internet has become a distinct medium through which rapid, multi-directional conversations and transactions can be facilitated, resulting in increased operational efficiencies and optimized costs for buyers and sellers at a global level. Face-to-face sessions have become less and less necessary with digital communications and networks making conversations more accessible and cost-effective, particularly during the pandemic.
The ones to derive the most benefit from a network-style solution are the world’s SMEs – the small organizations that are typically unable to engage in global commerce without an external agent’s assistance. Therein lies the huge opportunity for engagement and increased competitiveness within an international marketplace.