Platforms in the era of digitalization

From Amazon to Uber – platforms are everywhere. Platforms have proven themselves to be a promising and futuristic way to execute new business models. However, how can the industrial branch and the B2B market benefit from this trend?

Platforms can be used for numerous things

On the one hand, Platforms can connect and manage value chain elements.  On the other hand, they connect individuals or companies with complementary goals.

Here are some examples of platform types:

  • Aggregation Platforms: (e.g. VoD, food delivery etc.)
  • Social Platforms (e.g. social media)
  • Mobilization Platforms: (e.g. car sharing)
  • Learning Platforms: (e.g. slide sharing)
  • Product Platforms: (e.g. customization of shoes)
  • Supply Chain Platforms: (e.g. car manufacturer)

For manufacturing companies in the B2B and B2C market, a Supply Chain Platform can be beneficial. It connects the elements, machines, devices and stakeholders of a supply chain and helps them to interact with each other. This creates an ecosystem, in which each party can benefit from the other, by exchanging information, providing services and linking processes.

There are some possible functions, which can be enabled through the digitalization of the supply chain elements and their integration into the platform:

  • Real-time data processing of machines, processes and stakeholder
  • Adaptability and scalability of the business portfolio through partner integration
  • Transparency throughout the product life cycle
  • Customer and supplier lock-in
  • Increased efficiency through statistical analysis
  • Predictive maintenance
  • Fulfillment services (e.g. transport and logistics management)
  • New business models are possible
  • Open innovation projects

 

Sources:

Chappell & Associates (2008): A short introduction to cloud platforms.

Monahan, Sean T. (2017): The Rise of Supply Chain Platforms.