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From Paper to Platform: The Effects of Digitization on Supply Chain Management with Matthew Waller

ZUUM Transportation hosted the webinar, From Paper to Platform: Adopting Logistics Technology Through Collaboration & Partnerships on March 11th, 2021 where they invited industry experts, venture capitalists, executives, and founders to share their insight. Watch the full recording on-demand here.

We can all agree that 2020 threw all industries and professions into a frenzy. Matthew A. Waller is the Dean of the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas. He also joined our webinar,  From Paper to Platform to share some of his insight on how manufacturers reacted to the global disruption and what kind of approach they should take in terms of tech adoption.

First, he highlighted that many enterprise companies had digitization plans in place prior to lockdowns. As events unfolded, companies needed to quickly come up with solutions to minimize disruptions within their supply chains. These circumstances accelerated the digitization roadmaps. Dean Waller categorizes these projects as “forced experiments.”

He mentions how most supply chain leaders tend to establish standardized processes and then search for technology that complement processes that are in place. However, this is inefficient. Dean Waller recommends companies to evaluate available technologies first, and design their processes accordingly. This ensures that companies are utilizing tools that are best-in-class and that processes are fully optimized.

Dean Waller also looks at the effects of digitization on supply chain management from the perspective of a tech company. He advises tech companies that focus on a single segment of the supply chain still need to consider the shipper’s total cost. By doing so, these tech companies can better understand and position their capabilities and benefits in front of shippers.

Lastly, he also finds it important to note that studies suggest shippers are currently not balancing their freight expenditures in the most cost effective way. Therefore, technologies that enable shippers to better manage their shipping costs will prove to be the most successful.