Is Your Digital Platform “Future Ready”?
Far too often, business processes in our industry rely too heavily on a single person’s actions. Establishing an entire workflow based on one person’s execution of manual processes places a huge burden on the employee’s availability and scalability. Does someone at your organization hand-assemble data and email it around? Do they even print pieces of paper and take them over to someone else’s desk for processing? This type of workflow cannot scale and will not enable adaptation to changing business and environmental demands. We’ve previously discussed these downsides. If you’re taking that risk, your organization lacks robustness and is highly susceptible to uncertainty, as you may have recently learned during the pandemic. If the platform you’ve become accustomed to stops functioning when one (or more) key people step away, it simply isn’t “future ready.”
Right now, the pace of technology change is accelerating. APIs are gaining traction and all corners of our industry are engaging in important conversations. In fact, it’s difficult to have a meeting with a supplier or distribution partner without the subject coming up. APIs (and any other automated integration point) drive costs out of the sales and purchasing process, enabling profit margins to increase. They are now universally accepted as the path toward a more efficient, more resilient supply chain. There’s a commonly held expectation that each trading partner will begin to incorporate them into strategic planning in the coming months or years.
The next generations of technology—blockchain and AI in particular—are receiving a lot of attention. While their specific impact on our business remains to be seen, one thing is for sure: the digital transformation will not stop with APIs. The expectation going forward will be that your company is ready and willing to adapt to emerging technologies, yielding the benefits of high quality data applications through AI, blockchain and analytics.
Embracing these solutions for a digitized supply chain is absolutely essential to the health of our entire industry. Once you’re not locked up in paper or email-based processes, the centralized data platform demonstrates a future-ready mindset. What you previously viewed as a “someday, maybe” investment becomes an approachable option now with the democratization of data, designed to be extended, integrated, and incorporated into the industry’s evolving technologies.
Furthermore, by contracting your future-ready digital platform to a third party, you gain real longevity. Your organization no longer needs to scrape together resources to keep up with the ever-changing technical landscape. A dedicated solutions provider has the scale to efficiently identify and make use of technical innovation. In many instances, as with Orbweaver, we are actually leading the conversation.
The Orbweaver platform is built to evolve as more efficient technologies become available. At its core, it is an integration engine intended to support the current state of affairs (importing and exporting flat files), the current evolving trend (API enablement), and whatever comes next (technologies like AI, blockchain, and analytics).
Orbweaver is a trusted industry resource that is working with our clients to help future-proof their digital platforms. All stakeholders along the supply chain are seeking more efficient and scalable ways to do business. If you are interested in speaking with us about that, please contact us today.