How aware are Swiss SMEs in the food industry about the opportunity of digital transformation for the sustainable optimization of their supply chain?

How aware are Swiss SMEs in the food industry about the opportunity of digital transformation for the sustainable optimization of their supply chain?


The study investigates the present stage of digital transformation among Swiss food SMEs, with a particular focus on the sustainable optimization of their supply chains. While digital technologies can potentially improve operational efficiency and sustainability, the level of adoption differs greatly among SMEs. This study assesses awareness, with the use of the AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) model to strengthen the analysis.


Understanding digital transformation in supply chains is critical for practitioners, particularly in the Swiss food sector, which is under growing pressure from regulations, market dynamics, and sustainability goals. This study highlights the level of awareness among Swiss food SMEs of the opportunity that digital transformation represents for sustainable supply chain optimization. This relevance is underlined by the need for SMEs to address the challenges and opportunities presented by digital adoption in order to remain competitive and sustainable.


The study demonstrates an extensive spectrum of awareness among Swiss food SMEs about digital transformation for sustainable supply chain optimization. Some SMEs are heavily involved, leveraging ERP systems and innovative digital technologies to improve efficiency and sustainability. The benefits observed among digital transformation adopters include improved operational efficiency, greater supply chain transparency, and improved compliance with sustainability practices. However, many still lack understanding of the potential benefits, hindered by resource constraints and resistance to change.

Implications for practitioners

Strategic planning & integration

The insights from the thesis can help with strategic planning and drive the strategic integration of digital technology into corporate processes, improving efficiency and sustainability.

Adoption of best practices

Practitioners are encouraged to adopt best practices from SMEs.

Leveraging government, association, and industry assistance

The thesis emphasizes the need to obtain government and industry assistance in order to overcome adoption hurdles.

Focus on training and development

Encourages investment in training and development to help firms enhance their digital capabilities.

Adopting Sustainability Practices

Shows how digital transformation can play a critical role in implementing and improving sustainability practices throughout the supply chain.


The study employed a qualitative approach to investigate the awareness of digital transformation opportunities for sustainable supply chain optimization among Swiss food SMEs. Semi-structured interviews with three experts and six SME representatives were conducted. Interviews were analyzed using Taguette software to categorize and synthesize data into relevant insights. Finally, the degree of digital maturity of the SMEs in the sample was subjectively assessed using the ‘Digital Excellence Checkup’ created by Swiss ICT: The results helped evaluate their readiness for digital transition.