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External factors are also influencing supply chain planning digital transformation goals planned for 2022. In response to labor shortages and rising turnover among employees, 51% of companies say they will increase automation in 2022 to free up employees for higher value-added tasks.

At 47 percent each, the ability to respond better and faster to unplanned disruptions and increasing supply chain resilience are other priority goals for 2022. Last year’s priority goal – monitoring changing customer behavior and expectations – is relegated to fifth place in 2022. This shows how strongly external factors influence all supply chain activities.

But while external factors are the driving force behind digital transformation initiatives, human factors are seen as the most important success factors. Half of respondents (50%) said that constant attention to people, processes, technology and security is critical to the success of digital transformation. Managing change and effective communication (45 percent) and the need to develop leadership-oriented goals (43 percent) were also cited as success factors.

Lack of manpower is the biggest obstacle to digital transformation.

“The last two years have highlighted the need to digitize supply chain planning. Fortunately, more companies than ever are responding by ramping up efforts to transform their operations,” said Caroline Proctor, chief marketing officer at ToolsGroup. “The percentage of companies with no digital transformation strategy at all is the lowest we have measured to date at 6%. Our results show that there is increasing investment in software, automation and people.”

“The survey results show that companies are charting a steady course toward digital transformation,” said Mark Baxa, president and CEO of CSCMP. “As supply chain challenges become more frequent and intense, executives are increasingly focused on implementing solutions that help them better manage risk, work around skills shortages and become more resilient.”