How to Build a Successful Digital Supply Chain Transformation Team


Digital transformation at the supply chain level is a complex undertaking that is best supported by a variety of professionals who can fill four critical roles. People should be an initial focus because they are essential to the success of your business's transformation efforts.

You may wonder what or who your team is lacking to pull off a smooth and successful digital transformation in your supply chain. If you feel like you could be unprepared, you're not alone.Free downloadable resources buttonFuturum Research found in their 2018 study that 1 in 3 businesses are incapable of keeping up with technological change, while 1 in 5 are considered Digital Laggards. Digital laggards are an "at-risk, change-averse, technology-challenged company unable to cope with technology disruption or the pace of change." Yikes.

If you are not clear about whether or not your business has the resources it needs to make it work, don't fret. We're going to let you know now.

Which Types of People Do You Need and What Roles Will They Fill?

Digital transformation in the supply chain takes more than just a technical staff. The technical skills of your employees are only one small part of the equation. Looking at the dynamic social traits of team members who will be leading and fulfilling the tasks of your transformation is important as well. You can think of these social traits in the context of the roles they will need to fill.


Stephanie Welsh at The Enterprisers Projects suggests you find people to fill the following four roles:

The Connector

These individuals have excellent interpersonal skills and can understand initiatives across the organization, as well as the links between interdepartmental goals. The connector is the right person to talk to when a need arises.


The Challenger

Challengers ask questions that help hone your business's strategy. These critical thinkers help us put our best foot forward in a well-reasoned way.


The Agilist

Agilists aren't afraid of change—they're adaptable people who can quickly pivot and re-establish the path forward when roadblocks arise. They are flexible and capable of adjusting to situations.


The Navigator

Navigators help your business figure out where to go and stay on track toward its goals. They are focused individuals, can effectively prioritize, and can help your business avoid wasting valuable time on distractions and less important tasks.

All of these types of people are vital as your business pursues digital transformation in the supply chain because they balance one another. Depending on the size of your organization, you may want to ensure you have multiple people to fill each of these roles.


Which Specific Job Functions Do You Need For A Smooth Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation takes a commitment from devoted team members who understand why and how to pursue the change. When it comes to the supply chain, you want to make sure that the people assigned to the endeavor have the professional skills to make it happen smoothly.


Human Resources

The HR department will come in handy if you need to hire additional people. Having technical talent scouts who can guide you on enticing top talent to join your organization increases your chances of succeeding in the digital transformation process.


Project Managers

Digital transformation at the supply chain level is a massive undertaking with lots of moving parts. You need good, functional leaders who can manage the projects effectively. Project Managers for this task need to be able to communicate well with other teams and various stakeholders to make sure everyone stays on track toward the grand vision.




Any form of digital transformation likely requires help from experienced developers who can create custom solutions for your business, even if it means altering or augmenting pre-existing solutions. For example, you want developers who can quickly pivot and try creative solutions to fix issues and bugs in the implementation phase, which are bound to happen.


Technical Staff

Other supporting IT staff can help with user acceptance, secure data, and more. As you're integrating systems and amassing data, you want to ensure that your information is secure. You want your systems operating smoothly. Similarly, keeping the implementation on track for supply chain requires experienced professionals who are capable of adapting and moving quickly.


Other Experts

Business process outsourcing (BPO) is often utilized by businesses that want to engage in digital transformation without lots of overhead. With assistance from BPO companies, you can reduce the number of hires and the required training you'll need to perform. This option also offers scalability that may otherwise be unaffordable for many businesses.

Expert consultants are also options to explore when it comes to digital supply chain transformation projects. If you don't want to bring on permanent staff but want the benefit of experienced subject matter experts in the process, consultants are a great option.


Utilize and Prepare Your Team

It's important to note that digital transformation can be a time of chaos and fear for current employees without the right preparation. Help your team members understand what will happen and what it will mean for their growth in their roles, along with the right training and advanced opportunities. Because people are so critical to the success of your transformation, it is vital that you support the people who have thus far supported you.

ShipERP can help you optimize your digital supply chain transformation.

Enhance supply chain management with ShipERP

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