Luiz Gastão Bolonhez, VP at Mercado Eletrônico, was one of the participants in the debate of July 22, on the topic titled “Digital transformation in supply chain planning: is it a barrier or facilitator?” – which was promoted by Inbrasc at the Supply Chain Journey event.

The debate hosted by Alex Leite, Educational Director at Live University, had also the participation of Fábio Gonçalves, Latin America Supply Director at Pepsi, Gustavo Taboas, CPO and Supply VP at the Albert Einstein Hospital, and Mauro Friedrich, Logistics Director at Arezzo.

All participants agreed that digital transformation is a facilitator for businesses. However, each one of them faced, and is still facing, different barriers to digitization deployment.

See the main insights of this conversation!


The key barriers to digitize the supply chain

Digitization of inefficient processes

It’s a fact that digitization has arisen to streamline processes in the supply chain area. However, have you ever imagined how to digitize inefficient processes? In fact, the company would only take the existing issues from the analog to the digital environment, without any process optimization; they would remain stagnant, with the risk of creating a digital situation even worse than the previous one.

Before starting any digital transformation, you must review all processes in the supply chain, to make them compatible and efficient in the technological environment. Only in this way the company will be able to reap maximum potential from digitization.

Synergy between company areas

When comes to digital transformation in the supply chain, it’s obvious that we will address a change that encompasses several areas of the company, and particularly the IT one.

Synergy among teams is vital to do both a technology deployment project and guide in an organized manner, along with less friction during the progress of such procedure.

In addition to lack of synergy, one major barrier we can find in this procedure are, of course, the bureaucratic processes faced by IT teams when integrating and absorbing technology in the company’s current scenario. Systemic compatibility issues are very common, along with many others related to the link between platforms.

For this reason, the IT team must be integral part of any digital transformation project, just to discover weaknesses and strengths of the system during such deployment.

User-friendly technology

The pressure of digitization from the competition has created a sense of urgency in many businesses, thus incorrectly hastening projects that must be well planned and structured.

In the eagerness to start digital transformation of supply chain processes, several companies will eventually choose the first technology they can find, without even knowing if it will be able to absorb all processes in their areas – or if it’s a user-friendly option, allowing their employees to do a good job.

Very likely, the first solution found won’t be the right one for your business. In fact, this search must be conducted with several criteria, and the decision for the right one should be made together with the company’s key areas.

Culture and organizational structure

One of the great barriers to start digital transformation in businesses is resistance from some employees, as well as from culture and organizational structure.

It’s only natural that every change will cause discomfort. And particularly when comes to technologies that optimize processes in several areas. This can arise some insecurity from professionals.

To get around this situation, prepare your employees before starting the adoption of any new technology. To minimize the impacts of change and ensure cooperation from everyone, make them aware of what the company expects from digitization. Explain that innovations are allies, not enemies.

Create chat sessions on the subject, and give employees the opportunity to express their opinions. Digital transformation begins with people, not with processes.

If employees buy the cause, digitization will certainly happen in a natural fashion.


These were the insights of the debate tilted “Digital transformation in supply chain planning: is it a barrier or facilitator?”, from the Supply Chain Journey 2020 event. If you liked this summary, tell us in the comments field!

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