Additional language available.
How To Use Digitization to update your company’s global supply chain more cost-effective, efficient, and customer oriented and ensuring that it doesn’t become obsolete. We will show you how to do it.
Do you think high-tech verbiage such as (IoT), Internet of Things, (AI), artificial intelligence, and big data aren’t affecting your companies supply chain and logistics, then try again. When these and other newer technologies sync-up, they do create a digitized supply chain that is more efficient, customer-focused, and cost-effective than those before it.
Referring to industry leaders the change in moving to digitization is also creating brand new challenges never before seen for companies and organizations, all of which are now in the mix and found themselves at having to adapt almost over-night to a transferring global trade environment and quickly re-evaluating customer needs and expectations. “Moreover, as growth is the CEO’s top priority, chief supply chain officers (CSCOs) are in hot water and under intense pressure to reign in and harness emerging digital technologies to deliver,” Gartner’s Rob van der Meulen writes in A 5-Step Innovation Process for Supply Chains.
“Innovative changes, as forward moving as they are, will create big problems, especially in an area as focused and part of a business as the supply chain. Turning revolutionary thoughts and ideas into functioning and tangible assets with value all the while not running dangerous risks requires CSCOs to be knowledgeable at supply chain innovation.”
To begin implementing these “great ideas” toward real values which will help streamline your companies supply chain and better familiarize its customers, consider these 5 essential steps toward moving in the right direction:
- Leverage track-and-trace technologies.The demand for real-time supply chain visibility is at all-time highs right now. It’s no longer enough for shippers to simply know when orders left their loading docks and hope that those goods get to the right place at the right time and in the right condition. A verification risk management capability, track-and-trace helps business partners, authorities, and ultimately consumers to manage and respond to risks—both potential risks and those that have already occurred—in a responsive and documented way.
- Put RFID, Bluetooth, and 3-D printers to work. According to PwC, radio frequency identification (RFID) and Bluetooth technologies are being used to inventory and track movement of items indoors, such as inside factories and warehouses. “3D printers generate readable sensor tags that can be attached to cargo and capture temperature and humidity conditions,” PwC continues. “Global system for mobile communication (GSM) and satellite tracking are used in maritime transport, and ship sensors monitor engine performance.” When combined, these tracking mechanisms help companies gain better visibility over their end-to-end supply chains, logistics, and transportation networks.
- Robots run the warehouse? If the idea of robots moving efficiently through your warehouse, working side-by-side with humans, still sounds like the makings of a good science fiction novel, it’s time to put some of these autonomous bots to work in your supply chain. “With the recent evolution of goods-to-person and robotic order fulfillment technology, your operation may be in a better position to incorporate these automated solutions now than in the past,” Mike Futch writes in Rise of the Warehouse Robots. “In many cases, the implementation of automation to reduce or improve the leverage of labor is a key driver now.” Here’s the good news: these new, automated solutions are now available at a lower capital investment and can be expanded as needed, which reduces the initial investment and improves overall ROI, Futch notes.
- Embrace the Industry 4.0 vision.A strategic approach that finds companies leveraging digital technologies to improve their competitiveness through the industrial Internet of Things (IoT), big data, and data analytics, Industry 4.0 is having a significant impact on global supply chains. “The supply chain today is a series of largely discrete, siloed steps taken through marketing, product development, manufacturing, and distribution, and finally into the hands of the customer,” according to PwC’s Industry 4.0: How digitization makes the supply chain more efficient, agile, and customer-focused.“Digitization brings down those walls, and the chain becomes a completely integrated ecosystem that is fully transparent to all the players involved — from the suppliers of raw materials, components, and parts, to the transporters of those supplies and finished goods, and finally to the customers demanding fulfillment.”
- Take a comprehensive approach to supply chain digitization.Companies that are currently the most advanced are also planning to invest the most in the digitization of their supply chains over the next two years, according to In fact, the gap between levels of maturity is widening, and may soon become insurmountable. “The next two years will see the inflection point in how the digitized supply chain drives competitive advantage and growth,” Huge Moreno writes in How A Digitized Supply Chain Can Give You a Competitive Edge.
“A minute number of companies, under 10%, or the progressives — that is, organizations that hold the highest levels of supply chain digitization aging — are far ahead with moving beyond of the pack in relations to supply chain digitization and gaining monetary and tangible rewards,” Moreno concludes. “Others need to catch up or risk falling further behind.”