Overcoming disruption: Technology in supply chain management
As we have come to understand, disruption will continue to be a major setback within the transportation industry. One of the key players is technology in supply chain management since it allows businesses to enhance their workflows and meet heightened customer demands.
An area that requires intervention is supply chain management. Companies are searching for efficient ways to incorporate advanced technologies to transform their processes, generate innovation, and attract new customers.
But not everything is more complex than ever. When discussing technology in supply chain management, we are no longer referring to a TMS or client portal. We are talking about Blockchain, IoT, predictive analytics, Blockchain, and other advanced technologies that will deliver efficiencies and a fundamental change in the industry.
Technology in supply chain management
Let’s discuss some of the technologies that are posed to transform our entire supply chain operations.
Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the global connectivity between millions of devices through the internet, all collecting data as we speak. It does not only refer to cellphones are computers but also to a lightbulb that can be handled through a phone app, for instance. Another example could be a motion sensor or any smart electronic in your home. They are all devices connected through the internet between each other and that collect vast amounts of data.
How is IoT used in the supply chain?
Companies are diving into IoT within the supply chain to support the following areas: manufacturing process, managing assets, freight monitoring, and fleet management.
For instance, within the freight monitoring process, you’ll be able to track location, traffic patterns, and weather conditions that give your business insight into the behavior of your shipment and allow you to take proper action before there’s a delay or any issue along the way.
The same happens within warehouses. Having everything interconnected helps you obtain the data you require to monitor your assets effectively and eliminate time spent looking for misplaced inventory or lost shipments. It all comes down to efficiencies that will help you provide better services, increase revenue, and attract more customers.
Predictive analytics refers to predicting future outcomes through recollecting data from past events or behaviors. Technology is implemented to interpret vast amounts of data and identify patterns and trends, allowing us to know what will happen next.
How does predictive analytics affect the supply chain?
An instrumental technology in supply chain management is predictive analytics. Thanks to the vast amounts of data that are being collected within company operations, algorithms can be set in motion to interpret it and improve delivery times, manage inventory, optimize workflows, drive cost reductions and enhance the customer’s experience; all of this with minimal to no human interaction.
Accessing the data and using it correctly will allow businesses to predict the future based on trends and make more strategic decisions that will benefit their company.
One of the most exciting technologies in supply chain management is 3D printing. As we all know, 3D printing is not as farfetched as we thought of it before, and it is now infiltrating the supply chain. Many companies are shifting heavily towards 3D printing to produce manufacturing parts to create the finished goods.
How does 3D printing affect the supply chain?
As companies are using 3D printing for manufacturing their parts, they do not have to depend on other companies across the globe. Thus, decreasing the manufacturing time and increasing the speed at which products are delivered to their destinations.
3D printing will directly affect the supply chain since it’ll produce significant efficiencies and avoid depending on manufacturers in remote locations. This new trend will transform the industry by reducing its well-known complexities and creating incredible innovation within the entire supply chain.
Even though most think about blockchain and they think cryptocurrency and other obscure topics, it is a technology that’s quickly making its way into the supply chain.
Blockchain is currently used to track the source of each product and its journey throughout the process. This provides the transparency companies require to comply with regulations and make sure everything is running as it should. In essence, using blockchain will give your business a clear view of all the transactions during the entire product journey.
These are just some technologies that will allow our business to overcome the current disruption by generating efficiencies that will help companies increase their productivity and deliver products safely and on time.