No Match Found
Energy, utilities and resources operations executives and management teams report higher levels of investment and adoption of supply chain technologies than other industries. Yet they also appear to be less satisfied with results so far, according to PwC’s 2023 Digital Trends in Supply Chain Survey. While these leaders say technology is helping them make faster decisions and supply chain moves that reduce disruptions in long-prioritized areas such as resiliency, the overall payoff is less certain. In fact, 98% of industry respondents say technology investments are not yet fully delivering expected results, a rate that’s higher than in all other industries.
Certainly, if implementation efforts are still in progress, you may need more time to know if your investment will pay off. Still, our survey suggests that other underlying and broader issues may be keeping many energy, utilities and resources companies from achieving expected benefits. If you think your organization is struggling with some of these common missteps, there are certain actions you can take next:
While executives in most other industries say budget constraints are the biggest challenge related to digitizing the supply chain, leaders in the energy, utilities and resources sector point to something less straightforward. For 44% of respondents, there isn’t a clear understanding of the business and technical capabilities needed to successfully digitize. This was cited as the top challenge, at a percentage nearly double that of most other industries. Yet with the energy industry reporting higher levels of investment and adoption of supply chain technologies than others, why are leaders feeling this way? It may indicate a disconnect or lack of alignment in one of these areas:
Many recognize the need for upskilling, especially in areas related to sustainability. For 84% of the industry leaders surveyed, a lack of digital skills is the top challenge to integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) into the supply chain. But digital upskilling still may not be a high enough priority. Only 20% of respondents named the digital upskilling of employees among their top three priorities. In fact, it falls well behind other priorities, including increasing efficiency and automating processes and analytics (notably, all areas that could benefit from a digitally upskilled workforce).
Energy, utilities and resources executives report higher levels of adoption of several key emerging technologies, with much more investment planned for the next two years. The top focus area — a cloud-based common data platform — is likely the result of industry efforts to move large enterprise resource planning and enterprise asset management systems to cloud. We’re also seeing signs that some more transformative initiatives may also be in the works, from blockchain pilots to AI-enabled “control towers” that combine traditional supply chain planning data with real-time visibility updates from carriers and suppliers.
But with so many of those surveyed saying they haven’t achieved expected results yet, it may be important to consider if some are implementing new technologies without changing existing ways of working. In this industry, processes can be deeply ingrained — and often for good reason. However, as technology changes, those tried and true practices may need to change as well.