Digital Supply Chain
22 Oct

Digital Supply Chain – 8 C’s of How to Make Your Supply Chain Digital

Thinking about Digital Supply Chain has now become imperative for business leaders across every industry sector. Analytics applications that can deliver a competitive advantage appear all along the supply chain decision spectrum—from targeted location-based marketing to optimizing supply chain inventories to enabling supplier risk assessment. Digitalisation in the supply chain will enable to work with virtual inventories to take advantage of centralize supply chain design while keeping physical stocks at a decentralized location to reduce last-mile cost.

While many companies have embarked on thinking about future supply chain trends, new insights, and create new forms of value, other companies have yet to leverage the digital supply chain to transform their supply chain design.

All Supply Chain Management functions with robust attention to cost and efficiency. When it comes to the supply chain and how to make it digital, the traditional differentiation and focus have moved far beyond that of increased efficiency and lower costs. The Supply Chain of today is a sequence of significant distinct steps taken through distribution, manufacturing, marketing, product development, and finally into the hands of your audience.

Digital supply chain thinking reduces those walls, and transforms the value chain into an integrated ecosystem that is fully transparent, visible, and accessible to all involved parties in terms of real-time data — from the components, parts, suppliers, and to transporters, and finally to consumers demanding fulfillment.

This blog explains at a very high level how companies should think to transform the traditional supply chain to the digital supply chain, this start with focusing on 8 C’s of Digital supply Chain. This blog has extended the concept of the Digital Supply Chain presented by SAP, and first 5 of the 8 C’s are a focus on SAP Digital Supply Chain Transformation (YouTube Video embedded at the end). As SAP has rightly mentioned

The Intelligent Enterprise starts with Digital Supply Chain

The 8 C’s of Digital Supply Chain Includes:

  • Complete
  • Connected
  • Cognitive
  • Compliant
  • Capable
  • Content
  • Community
  • Commerce

These ‘8 Cs’ are essential categories of Digital Supply Chain practices that aid companies grow their supply chain digitally.



Complete in its ability involves the handling of all linked processes and systems required to manage a high-speed digital system. Such a digital network for supply chain includes coordinating suppliers and logistics, production planning and scheduling, transport and warehouse management. In Digital Supply Chain, they all connect to form one system rather than several fragmented systems.


The Connected in the ‘8 Cs’ connects employees, equipment, logistics providers, suppliers, third parties (including third party producers), and resources. A digital link-up of these processes together ensures everything on the supply chain works at speed, and alteration can be rapidly communicated and managed.


Cognitive with a single digital platform features having built-in predictive analytics. These ‘8 Cs’ avoids separate data storage for analytics and transactions that can move out of sync. Analytics work directly on the transaction database, thus offering a more accurate and complete Machine Learning and also enables the use of Artificial Intelligence.

category management

Procurement Toolbox # 1: Category Management

returns costs

Fundamentals of Returns Costs in Supply Chain

3PL selection

Understanding Third Party Logistics (3PL) Selection and Management

« » page 1 / 14


Compliant is the necessity for everything to function and be the way it should. A complaint process includes areas that involve batches, processes, and tracking Lots. These processes ensure end-to-end quality within the digital supply chain and also permit real-time fast trace to any problems on the platform. A Digital Supply Chain system can be managed, monitored, and maintained through easy upgrades that guarantee system integrity and resilience.

Supply Chain KPI Dashboard


Content on your Supply Chain accurately portrays who you are as a brand. You would want to portray leads that offer useful information about your brand or specific products. The digital age comes with having good footprints and accessible information at the forefront of your audience.

Small brands can invest in quality content to aid the foreseeable future. The better and more optimization your content and product get, the higher your rank would be, amongst other products. Not just that you can focus your content explaining how you are creating a differentiated supply chain, which is more agile and responsive. You can focus on customer-centric concepts and explain them you understand their lead time expectation as an example.  Your contents need to be:

  • Updated Frequently
  • User-Friendly
  • Easily understandable and useful
  • Connected with the target audience

A good example of that is Hybris which is acquired by SAP for $1.5 billion. Hybris is Omnichannel and product content management software, user-friendly and easy accessible from anywhere. I think more and more companies should move towards these solutions.

Digital markets today seek high diversification, dynamically changing trends, multiple categories of customer products, and much more.


The essential elements to creating a sense of Community comprise of meeting consumer needs and engagement on digital platforms. Your target audience has history, priorities, and shared values, belonging, bonding, and membership. Connecting and relating via proper channels to a community makes a better network for your Supply Chain. The community takes a two-fold approach in achieving a successful Digitalisation of Supply Chain. This two-fold approach includes:

  • One requires active participation in digital communities.
  • Two requires your brand to be the centre of your digital community industry and marketplace.

Having an active in digital community aids in establishing positive awareness for your brand. With consistency, brands can easily grow more recognition. Once you have created a reputable name within your digital community, you get a more prominent status in the industry. Understand your competitors and target audience to aid in creation of techniques that would handle such relationships. Endeavor to become a top competitor within your niche and place your brand in people’s minds when they think of searching for specific products and services.


Commerce for Digital Supply Chain covers how you intend to use your digital approach towards marketing your products, brand, and services. The use of digital platforms like eCommerce websites and paid online promotions can aid increase sales and attract genuine leads. These techniques can be additions to your marketing funnel.

The utilization of the full capabilities of digital platforms for small businesses and brands reduces the sales cycle, thus saves more time and other valued resources. Along with creative and useful content, leads now come naturally and pulls in more sales. Your supply chain should show how different your business model is from others. Once you stand out from other competitors, your brand, products, and services become better to compete. It is essential your commerce for Digital Supply Chain delivers informative content to prospective clients as well.


An increasing number of businesses are realizing the importance of Digital Supply Chain in today’s business world; however, the transition is slow. It may be because the current solutions are expensive or may not be customize.  There is huge potential to create digital Operations Applications, Logistics Application, Sourcing Applications and Linking Applications Across Functions.

Digital Supply Chain is not just another technology. It is the nexus of software, computing, and technological capabilities that has ushered in an era of radically different competition and is a “tech” disruption of historic proportions. Despite the hype, the majority of companies have yet to leverage digitalization for their supply chain operations, they are engaging in random implementation efforts, and many do not know how to proceed. It has to be strategic focus and need to think from the perspective of 4 Pillars of Supply Chain Strategy

The Digital Supply Chain provides function beyond the traditional focus of reduced cost and better efficiency. In a mature niche, the Digitalisation of Supply Chain can serve as an engine to grow profit if appropriately leveraged. As such, Digitalisation Supply Chains take the big move from ‘cost’ to ‘value’ chains, as well as optimize the ‘push’ for supply by creating an adequate ‘demand-pull to created extended enterprise.

As a result, the 8 C’s  is vital to make the transition of your traditional supply chain to a digital one.

Please let me know if you think we need to focus on any more C’s to transform our traditional supply chain into digital world and reap benefits?


Recommended Reading :

E-Logistics: Managing Your Digital Supply Chains for Competitive Advantage

E-Logistic - Digital Supply Chain



About the Author- Dr Muddassir Ahmed

Dr MuddassirAhmed is the Founder & CEO of SCMDOJO. He is a global speakervlogger and supply chain industry expert with 17 years of experience in the Manufacturing Industry in the UK, Europe, the Middle East and South East Asia in various Supply Chain leadership roles.  Dr. Muddassir has received a PhD in Management Science from Lancaster University Management School. Muddassir is a Six Sigma black belt and founded the leading supply chain platform SCMDOJO to enable supply chain professionals and teams to thrive by providing best-in-class knowledge content, tools and access to experts.

You can follow him on LinkedInFacebookTwitter or Instagram