Skills Supply Chain Leaders Will Need to Manage the Digital Supply Chain

In today’s world, (almost) everything can be done with the snap of your fingers. Bored? You can simply put on your television to watch the latest movie or plug in your headphones to listen to that newly-released jam. You are probably reading this with your phone or macbook or posting information on your social media platforms. 

Have you ever paused to wonder what makes it easy for us to consume information (be it text, music or video) digitally from anywhere in the world and at any time? That’s an effective digital supply chain at work.

Companies operating within a digital supply chain create strategically unified computing environments to generate and share information that will be beneficial to other parties.

In simple terms, as you are creating that video for your YouTube channel, there is a supply chain process put in place to ensure that your viewers get to receive that information – that is, watch your video without hassles. The same happens with every information you disseminate or receive on the internet.

A digital supply chain has processes that monitor real-time inventory levels, customer interactions with products, carrier locations, and equipment and uses this information to help plan and execute at increased levels of performance. Technologies such as GPS tracking, radio frequency identification (RFID), barcodes, smart labels, location-based data and wireless sensor networks all play a part in a digital supply chain. A digital supply chain includes the website’s developers, its administrators, the cloud services company that hosts the website’s data, the CMS provider, and the devices that consumers use to access the website.

In very simple terms, the digital supply chain encompasses the logistics involved in the delivery of digital media from the content provider to the customer. It is thus important for logistics leaders to not just be knowledgeable about the nitty-gritty of digital supply chain, but to also have the necessary skills required to manage the supply chain process holistically.

Having the Big Eye


To be a digital supply chain leader, you must have what I call the ‘big eye’, which also means having a big-picture perspective. You should be able to visualise the process from start to finish and formulate a contingency plan that’ll make the supply chain flow continuously. 

Technology is a never-ending cycle of innovation and creativity, and globalisation has transformed logistics and supply chain management across borders. As a company moves from domestic to international distribution,it now faces different people, different policies, and a variety of shipping modes. Envisaging the next big/global move and the ability to discern geopolitical trends accurately is a mark of a good logistics leader. Lora Cecere, the founder of Supply Chain Insights – Baltimore, Md.-based research firm, says that good logistics leaders need to be advanced in their thinking about supply chain visibility.

Are you organised enough?

If you have perfect organisational skills and can pay attention to the littlest detail, you may be on your path to being a good logistics leader. Michelle Gomez, an author, a career coach and a logistics and supply chain professional. said that the most successful logistics professionals have a couple things in common: they’re organized, and detail-oriented. Being a logistics leader requires coordination with a number of different teams and people, it will be catastrophic to jumble things up and be unable to account for little details. Planning ahead is a major component of logistics and it is important for a logistics leader to be a good planner.

What’s the mission?

Every logistics leader has a goal and a mission that is put above his own. Being a leader could be a power trip for many people, but a logistics leader is not one to be egoistic or powerdrunk, else a sustainable supply chain will not be achieved. A great logistics leader is, one who puts his company’s mission and goals ahead of his own, more interested in

generating results through innovative solutions with focus on long-term goals and is focused on achieving success in driving costs down while improving performance and maintaining a high ROI.

Try new things and transcend boundaries

As globalisation and innovations sweep through the shores of the globe and technology keeps transcending boundaries, logistics leaders must learn to sniff out good talent and bring them on board to help drive innovation and change in their company. One way to do this is by being an excellent communicator who can get people excited about the company’s vision and committed to making it a reality.

A logistic leader should also be ready to help and mentor fresh graduates across all races, nationalities, tribes, or denominations. Being accommodating and flexible will help you attract the best talents and help you hone them, this will in turn lead to change that transcends 


Be ready for mishaps

Let’s face it, no matter how organised you are, mistakes are bound to happen and things may go wrong once in a while. Even the best social media apps have system crashes. A good logistics leader not only foresees imminent dangers but is capable of handling mishaps if/when they occur without escalating the problem. Good leaders design and apply detailed processes for managing day-to-day activities, including the ability to react to contingencies. 

So you want to be a logistics leader? Learn these skills and hone them as often as you can.


What digital supply chain is all about by:

Definition of digital supply chain:

Logistics skills that can help advance your supply chain career:

What will make you a good logistics leader:

The secrets to success in logistics leadership:


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