Digital Supply Chain

by Penny Power on May 7, 2013 · 0 comments

Side view of a young boy using laptop isolated on white backgrouRecently I made a pretty ground breaking decision which was a moment of realisation for me. I decided that I couldn’t do business with suppliers or colleagues, collaborate or belong to Discussion Groups unless the people I was connecting with we’re digitally savvy and could respond to email, Calendar Invitations and open documents fast. Of course, I have to accept that clients are not digitally savvy at all times, that is my marketplace.

My life now leads me into many exciting projects to help the digital economy, to grow the skills within the digital supply chain between companies and people. My love is Community building and helping people to become great Digital Citizens and sometime Great Digital LeadORS. I do this through the The Digital Business Campaign wotking with Digital Youth Academy, Frontier and leadORS.

The local agenda within the UK is about connectivity and infrastructure, local Government and National Government money is being poured into provide the new SuperFast highways online. Likening it to the growth of the railways or the expansion of motorways, they know we have to have fast access and great roads for our business to take places on line. Digital by Default is an important Government Agenda

As we know in the terrestrial world, when there are train delays, snow problems, traffic jams, this has an knock on economic affect, affecting meetings, export, anything that relies on transport systems working smoothly.

So I wonder what the cost is to our economy of the hold-ups in the SuperFast highways online when one person in the chain of the communication isn’t digitally capable. They create traffic jams and hold-ups by not confirming a meeting, easily reading a document, not being able to join a virtual Conference call, this list of limitations is long. This is in addition to the obvious trade benefits of being Digital and having a Digital Mindset

As an entrepreneur I am so reliant in speed of communication and decision making, knowing that when I block out my diary for a pending appointment that the person will respond fast and either confirm or release that date. Knowing that they can agree or disagree with a proposal of a project so we can progress. Knowing that they don’t need to meet face to face all the time in order to progress. Knowing that they can connect their supply chain into projects to keep the projects rolling fast. Ensuring that the service of business is fast and runs smoothly between clients and suppliers.

Digital Skills are so needed in our UK economy, not only to show SMEs that they can expand their networks globally, transform their products to online solutions but also so they can be more efficient and part of the opportunities that those of us who are digitally connected uncover each day.

The Digital Business Britain Campaign I started in March 2011 in the UK is gaining traction, but I am shocked by how hard it is to get this basic need across to stake holders in our economy. When will they realise that the Digital Economy is not just about Twitter and LinkedIn etc as a tool for sales growth, or that digital is not just for those in the ‘Digital Sector ‘, it is a critical part of our transport system that needs to be solved to ensure all companies supply chains function at a low cost, efficient pace.

I put this commentary out into Google this week and I was supported by most, but some felt I was excluding the older generations and the rural economies. I am not sure I can manage to address all these people, luckily there are great campaigns that support the wider society through Go ON UK, what do you feel, as business people can we cover all the angles that we would like to? Can we do the best we can and help those that we have most empathy with. A deep set of thoughts, for now, I am happy that we are helping our SME’s after all, they are the fuel of our economy.

Penny Power
Penny Power is the Founder of Ecademy and Digital Youth Academy, two communities that assist in the growth of Social Capital and deliver the promise of the Internet through their community values and peer to peer knowledge exchange. Penny is now focusing on the skills gap that exists within the business community toward leveraging the social digital world and you can follow her on Twitter @pennypower or sign up for her newsletter on

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