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Nathan Pieri
Chief Product Officer
Amber Road

Supply Chain Comment

Nathan Pieri is responsible for Amber Road's product development and delivery capability, leading the product management, engineering and trade content teams as well as the global professional services organization. Nathan has over 20 years of experience in enterprise software, designing and delivering solutions for large, complex supply chains.

Prior to rejoining Amber Road, Nathan was Senior Vice President Product Management at Triple Point Technology, a leading provider of commodity management solutions, where he led product management and engineering teams for six product lines. Previously, Nathan has also held senior marketing and product management roles at Amber Road for ten years, and other enterprise software companies such as Celarix and Baan (Infor). Earlier in his career Mr. Pieri was a strategy and supply chain management consultant at Coopers & Lybrand and held various operating roles at General Electric, where he started his career in the manufacturing management program.

Mr. Pieri earned an MBA from the Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.

October 26, 2017

Supply Chain Agility and your Digital Transformation Effort

Digitization is a Means to an end, With the end Goal Being Able to Derive the Most Value From a Supply Chain


2017 has been a year of great disruption for supply chain managers.  Trade agreements are being canceled and renegotiated, compliance regulation is on the rise, the timeline for Brexit is approaching, and weather-related events are accelerating.  Supply chain networks that had been relatively stable for years, are now in flux with shifting cost advantage and new product and regulatory compliance demands.  Now more than ever, companies need to re-engineer processes and supporting systems to achieve a totally new level of agility to respond to these market forces.

Against this chaotic backdrop is a revolution of new technologies.  We have all heard about Big Data, Internet of Things and Machine Learning.  Leading companies are applying these methods to clearly establish the business case for digital transformation and a wave of reinvestment is gearing up.  But with hundreds of “cloud-enabled” point solution options, where do you start to build the supply chain of the future?

The prospect of this wave of reinvestment is a challenge for many CIOs.  Companies today can be managing thousands of applications with hundreds in the supply chain space alone.  So any business case that recommends adding to this inventory, should also identify four or five other systems that can be retired.  Your Digital Transformation effort should therefore be grounded on a platform that not only incorporates these latest technologies, but allows you to significantly expand the degree to which your supply chain is automated.

Pieri Says...

Developing a digital supply chain is more than just a money saver; it can create competitive advantages and increase growth.

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Digital transformation efforts need to eliminate the islands of automation present in most of today’s supply chain infrastructures.  Agility demands the freedom of making process improvements across a complete process – from Purchase Order issuance to final Proof of Delivery – and across your supplier, logistics, and customs networks.  And, analytical applications need to be able to take advantage of the wealth of information derived from this end-to-end flow. 

Practically speaking, this type of platform demonstrates agility on multiple levels.  Here are some example questions – are you properly equipped to handle these today?

  • Trade Agreement Turbulence?  Protectionism, Brexit, and general globalization have caused and will cause many new changes to the Trade Agreement landscape.  Assess the cost impacts these changes will have on your supplier network. 

  • Corporate Acquisitions?  Handle acquisitions in an expeditious and efficient manner.  Quickly integrating the acquired company into your standardized global supply chain processes enabled by the digital platform.

  • Third Party Logistics Partner Disruption?  Deal with bankruptcy, poor performance, or other factors in your third party logistics network.  Ability to swap in/out partners as needed to maximize your global supply chain efficiency and better manage supply chain risk.

  • New Regulatory and Product Compliance Demands? Tap into a centralized knowledge base of global regulations and accommodate new single window regulations as they are issued.  Stay ahead of product compliance concerns and align your product design and testing network to confirm shipments and be able to trace supply concerns.  

  • Weather-related Events?  Monitor and expedite shipments in-transit and more importantly look further back to inventory at origin and the supply network build plan to change planned deliveries and orders.

With the right Digital Platform in place, the answer to today’s disruption is a wealth of capability for supply chain managers to respond with speed and precision. For supply chain entities, the most important question is not just how new technology will help reach new markets, define new strategies, or reach more customers more adequately. Instead, the question asks if this new technology can be implemented fast enough to prevent a company’s extinction. 

Digitization itself is a means to an end; the end goal is to derive the most value from a supply chain, but a majority of companies are still struggling to advance. Developing a digital supply chain is more than just a money saver; it can create competitive advantages and increase growth. Companies must transform the way they do business and take the leap into making their supply chains digital, otherwise, they will be left behind.

Download Amber Road’s eBook, The Digital Global Supply Chain, to learn how digitization enables real transformation through four methods:  Collaboration, Automation, Analytics, and Flexibility.

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