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August 4, 2023

Why Digital Transformation is Crucial for Modern Supply Chains

— To succeed in digital transformation, companies must view their HR team as active contributors to business decisions and embed digital changes into everyday tasks, while future supply chain professionals will need skills in project management and technology, supported by artificial intelligence in hiring processes according to Partho Chakraborty, Associate Director for P&O IT at Novartis.

The following are the main takeaways from his recent interview. You can watch the entire interview here.

Shifting Perception of P&O to Business Enablers

Pivotal to Chakraborty's view is the idea of reimagining the role of People and Organization (P&O). He envisions a shift from P&O functioning merely as a support arm, to acting as proactive business enablers. With almost two decades of experience, he underscores the importance of meaningful metrics and data-driven insights in shaping informed business decisions. For P&O to be truly effective, it must break free from a supporting role and become an integral part of the business ecosystem.

Essentials for a Successful Supply Chain Digital Transformation

Digital transformation, according to Chakraborty, is a journey, not a destination. It permeates the core of an organization's operations and demands several key elements for success:

  • 1.

    Cultivating a culture receptive to change and transformation, led from the top.
  • 2.

    Weaving digital transformation into the daily tasks and workflows of employees, hence driving the transformation from the ground up.
  • 3.

    Recognizing that the road to transformation involves risk-taking, failure, learning, and evolution.

Chakraborty also identifies three critical mindsets for orchestrating a successful digital transformation:

  • 1.

    A future-oriented approach to recruitment.
  • 2.

    A sound understanding of the transformation-enabling technology.
  • 3.

    Solid project management capabilities.

Current HR Trends and Essential Skill Sets for Future Supply Chain Professionals

With a firm eye on the future, Chakraborty perceives project management acumen and a strong grip on IT and automation as indispensable skills for supply chain professionals. He insists that the success of digital transformation is inseparable from the success of its employees, thereby stressing the need to nurture a transformation-friendly culture within an organization.

As we move towards a more technologically driven HR landscape, Chakraborty underscores the growing role of AI and machine learning in talent acquisition. He deems people analytics as a game-changer, yielding invaluable insights for hiring decisions. HR should also lean into technologies that reduce manual intervention, thus allowing P&O teams to focus on activities that add value and enable the business. And in embracing technology, Chakraborty suggests that new tools such as ChatGPT and Metaverse could be leveraged to enhance processes like onboarding, making P&O operations more efficient.

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