Are you scared when you hear about digital transformation? Don’t be. Done right, it can help you make the shift from a traditional, disconnected supply chain to a dynamic, connected supply network.

If you haven’t yet started embracing digital transformation and a connected supply chain, you may get left behind. “The next generation, digital, on-demand, and always-on supply network is here. It’s real. It’s happening. And lots of companies have embraced it. If companies haven’t started actively investigating its impact on their business, they should jump in,” said Scott Sopher, Principal and Leader of the Global Supply Chain Practice, Deloitte Consulting LLP.

In the modern digital world, your supply chain needs to be the heart of a connected information system where movements of materials and goods can be tracked at every level, so you can maximize efficiency, meet quality standards and mandates, and deliver on customer demands for greater flexibility, visibility, and transparency.

You can start by implementing a solution that gives you an easy way to see all your inbound supply chain activities. In manufacturing, what you can’t see can definitely hurt you. Think about it. If you can’t see a looming shortage of a critical material or part, you can’t shift to a different supplier. And you may not be able to avoid a production shutdown.

Information and insights are the true building blocks of a connected supply network. So, be sure to add collaboration technology to your digital toolbox. In a collaborative environment, manufacturers and suppliers can help drive out waste, maintain the optimum inventory of incoming materials and parts, and more effectively forecast need—all of which can help with cost containment efforts. As technologies evolve, you’ll be able to track the cycle time of critical tools being used by your suppliers, so you can proactively avoid failures in the future and potential plant shutdowns and delays. Eventually, you’ll gain full visibility into your suppliers’ capacities, to validate ahead of time that you’re making the best sourcing decisions.

Rather than viewing digital transformation as big and scary, view it as an opportunity to create differentiation and minimize risk. A digital, connected supply network holds great promise for manufacturers in virtually every industry. It can help drive down costs, improve product quality, reduce the cost of goods sold, and accelerate design, production, and delivery.

LiveSource can help you get started on your digital transformation and creation of a connected supply network.