Thought Piece

A needle in a haystack

Creating an optimised system for mapping Digital sector supply chains.

The first concepts around supply chain management appear in the development of Lean Manufacturing as it rose to dominance at the start of the 20th Century, best described through the concepts of:

  • Value Stream mapping
  • Demand-based (pull) systems
  • Measurement, KPIs and Visualisation
  • Continuous improvement

These tools enabled organisations to become more efficient and innovative, by designing out overburden, inconsistency, and waste; concepts commonplace within major manufacturing industries that stay competitive in the international market on both a micro and macro level.

Today, in sectors such as Aerospace, there is a well-documented and monitored flow of goods through a variety of different suppliers and manufacturers that orchestrate themselves together to create an industry worth £36bn a year in the UK alone.

The Digital Supply-Chain

But how do we apply this thinking to a business sector that lacks both raw materials and physical manufacture? The Digital Economy has transformed the way we live and work and (while Manufacturing suffers due to the effects of Covid-19) shows a resilience and agile resourcefulness that current estimates value at more than £400m a day to the UK economy.

The disruption of digital industries, released from traditional models and limited only by the imagination and resourcefulness of its pioneers, has transformed the principals of value, demand, measurement and improvement beyond traditional recognition.

But these ideas, especially for policy makers, are as valuable now as they were 100 years ago. By understanding the supply chain – the flow of demand, the measurement and visualisation of value across stakeholders –more informed decisions can mean better results when considering the identification of key obstacles to growth and the engagement of the stakeholders required to ensure that solutions are successfully supported.

Working in Collaboration

As part of The Data City’s work (alongside BEIS, KTN and a panel of private experts) in creating the new industry standard for Industry Classification, we will be proposing the very first Digital Supply chain datasets to map out Digital industries such as Immersive Content, Cyber Security, Artificial Intelligence, Fintech and more.

These are made possible using our own cutting-edge technology to classify and categorise just under 1 million UK companies, in granular detail unavailable through any other platform.

This smart UK business sector data will be made available to Regional Economic Development teams within the UK in support of a wide range of Local Industrial Strategies. By showing regional clustering of these new and emergent business sectors, local decision makers will be able to better understand the make-up and network of businesses and business classifications that represent the fast-growing sectors that can benefit from their support.

For more information on how to access this data, the technology being used or the ability to become part of the next Real Time Industry Classification (RTIC) code, contact matt.childs@thedatacity.com.

About the author

Alex Craven

A philosophy graduate, Alex has been running digital and tech businesses since 1999. Alex thrives on turning technology innovation into businesses that transform industries. Husband and father of three he enjoys being fit and Rum.