Last week, in conjunction with the Association for Supply Chain Management’s (ASCM’s) Annual Conference held in Las Vegas, there was a joint announcement from both ASCM, and Deloitte related to the first release of the termed Digital Capabilities Model (DCM) for Supply Networks. Supply Chain Matters is of the belief that this announcement represents an important development and thus we are highlighting same for our readers, along with initial perceptions.

This new model was designed to help transform supply chain management for today’s increasingly interconnected and digital world. Compatible with the Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR) Digital Standard, the model has been reportedly designed to Supply Chain Technologyhelp companies advance their capabilities from traditional linear supply chains to digital supply networks, the dynamic, interconnected systems that simultaneously plan, execute and enable digital supply “chains“. As our readers are likely aware, the SCOR Reference Model has undergone previous process innovation shifts, and a Digital Capabilities Model is an obvious next phase.

Supply Chain Matters readers may have noticed that in conjunction with the release of our 2019 Predictions for Industry and Global Supply Chains published in December 2018, we have purposefully changed our blog terminology to reference today’s digital based supply and customer fulfillment networks. We did this to influence global supply chain management teams to context business process and systems investment in such competency needs and capabilities. Thus, last week’s DCM announcement peaked our interest.

On Monday, we had the opportunity to speak directly with Peter Bolstorff, Executive Vice President for Corporate Development, ASCM, and Chris Richard, Principal, Tech Industry Supply Chain Lead, Deloitte Consulting LLP, both being lead architects in the creation of the DCM methodology.


In terms of background, Peter Bolstorff explained that the overall DCM effort began over a year and a half ago when the ASCM board, upon hearing business and individual member feedback regarding overriding business needs for stepped-up digital process transformation, authorized a Digital Task Force to conceptualize a SCOR Digital Standards methodology and framework, more attuned to the different process capabilities of digital-based processes.  Three guiding principles were to be incorporated:

  • Holistic systems thinking beyond input-output, and how to map a successful digital transformation and ensure success.
  • Enterprise wide optimization that provides supply chain management capabilities in a much wider enabling context.
  • A technology-enabled model that challenges teams to context business processes in more digitally based technologies and systems capabilities that in many cases require changing or different skill needs. The model would further spur needed investment strategies in broad areas.

The model was to be geared for organizations with a business and supply chain management transformation need. At the same time, the model revises the concepts of the SCOR Framework methodology to the digital based process notions of more asynchronous and relational capabilities, along with the realities that digital based processes build on one another, with each having people, skill level and technology support requirements and capabilities.

Deloitte, in the persona of Chris Richard, helped to influence needs for more interactive process mapping vs. a series of PowerPoint concepts. In the announcement, Richard indicates: “Through our collaboration with ASCM, we are setting a new standard for supply networks management and helping businesses and nonprofits update and adapt practices to increase efficiency, drive results, and innovatively enhance performance in a rapidly changing world.”

The task force revisited 12 years and over 90 successful SCOR based transformation mapping efforts to normalize process learnings and nine categories of process technology enablers.

When readers review the broad process enabling categories of DCM, they will notice terms such as:

Synchronized Planning

Connected Customers

Smart Operations

Intelligent Supply

Dynamic Fulfillment

Concurrent Collaboration

As well as other digital based terminology. Level Two mapping references associated supporting processes, persona of job descriptions and skills, or before and after job roles.


Supply Chain Matters Perspective

This Editor and long-established supply chain technology industry analyst applauds ASCM’s latest effort in creating a Digital Capabilities Model.

We continue to communicate to clients and readers that Supply Chain Digital Transformation is fast becoming a requirement in many industry sectors, and we advise clients that strategic and tactical roadmaps are essential.

Surveys focused on digital based process and technology transformation consistently identify either lack of skills readiness, technology deficiencies, budget, or overall resistance to change as obstacles toward achieving digital transformation. What remains a need is for organizations to have the ability to identify each of the succinct people, process and systems competencies required for managing a successful transformation. We certainly applaud ASCM and Deloitte efforts in coming up with the Digital Capabilities Framework that can provide businesses with a methodology to map and manage their transformation needs.

As our long-time readers are also aware, new technologies in ERP and best-of-breed technology vendor development pipelines, including leveraged use of artificial intelligence, machine learning and interactive systems concepts, promise to add additional decision-making capabilities that businesses need to be cognizant of, since they will fundamentally change industry competitive landscapes and corresponding supply chain management competencies.

We have been invited by ASCM and Deloitte to participate in quarterly updates of progress regarding DCM, and our blog readers can anticipate Supply Chain Matters periodic updates on model and business use.

Stay tuned.


Bob Ferrari

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