In the A&D Supply Chain, Digital Adoption is Essential

In the A&D Supply Chain, Digital Adoption is Essential

preflight preparation of the aircraft for departure. Conceptual representation of the use of modern technology and artificial intelligence to prepare the aircraft without human intervention

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the growing necessity for aerospace and military firms to invest in digital technologies. In the past, the industry as a whole has lagged behind other industries in embracing digital supply chain tools. Especially given the fact that it has produced some of the world’s most advanced technological marvels. The reasons range from an aging workforce to a lack of awareness of why and how digital is beneficial to businesses.

But it’s no longer a question of whether the digital transformation is worthwhile or how it helps to long-term success. Digital adoption helps companies run more efficient, scalable, and sustainable supply chains. Which allows them to acquire a competitive advantage and meet financial and strategic objectives.

According to McKinsey’s research, the COVID epidemic has accelerated the pace of digital acceleration for several industries. In the last 18 months, supply chain organizations in the A&D industry have accelerated digital adoption by several years. Many of these adjustments are temporary responses to a crisis, it’s likely that many of them will linger once “normal” operations resume.

Here are some of the reasons why digital adoption is likely to remain – and why it should:

Digital Technology Put to the Test — and It Has Achieved Success

Bringing new technologies and procedures into supply chain firms has always entailed carefully analyzing advantages and downsides, testing multiple solutions, and gathering evidence before moving forward on a wide scale. However, the pandemic left little time for this, forcing businesses to react swiftly and examine later.

This was an era of real-time testing and adjusting techniques on the fly. According to BCG Research, mature supply chains that had already invested in digital tools were better able to manage the COVID storm and adjust to new conditions, such as simplifying delivery models, than those that had not.

Digital Supports Business Continuity

Supply chain partners faced a mountain of hurdles to keep business going forward in the face of shutdowns, slowdowns, and labor shortages. Companies that invested in modern technology such as automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence, on the other hand, saw a smaller impact on their company continuity.

When logistics are hindered by lockdowns, social distancing requirements, and longer transportation durations, for example, digital solutions can help bridge the gap. Technology connects supply chain partners across geographies and data ecosystems. Allowing them to stay linked to critical data, anticipate and respond to changes, and keep going even when things go wrong.

What Does the Future Hold for Digital Technology in the A&D Supply Chain?

In the supply chain, the consequences of digital adoption have been overwhelmingly beneficial, pushing more enterprises to increase their efforts in this sector. Companies are likely to investigate connected systems after collecting low-hanging fruit like cloud-based data exchange platforms. This might involve 3D printing for parts and components, as well as automation to help with labor and skill shortages.

Keep an eye out for our future post on A&D supply chain tactics that benefit from digital adoption, and see how new technologies are being implemented in real-time. Contact [email protected] to learn more about how etaGLOBAL is equipping aerospace supply chain organizations. Through powerful, yet simple to use data visualization solutions to improve their supplier experience.