A New Supply Chain Revolution in Logistics

Logistics Tech Outlook | Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Technology affects the supply chain's velocity, precision, and efficiency. Supply chain managers may leverage more data, automation, and other tools to make faster choices, estimate demand more accurately, and plan for unforeseen events throughout the supply chain by integrating new technology.

FREMONT, CA: The next great leap forward in supply chain management will occur through digital technologies. Cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence, end-to-end digital connectivity, the internet of things (IoT), machine learning, virtual reality, augmented reality, predictive analytics, robotics, drones, cyber security, and wearable devices, among others, are all integral components of the new supply chain management paradigm. To forecast future supply networks, one must first comprehend their current status and then produce a determined estimate. One abundantly obvious thing is that the future supply chain will be a 'don't touch' paradigm. Thus, all supply chain components will be completely devoid of any contact with data, paper, items, or materials and will not include their handling. This way of thinking is consistent with the lean philosophy, which emphasizes the ethos of waste elimination. Any handling or movement of materials and elements will be studied to determine how to do it without physical contact. Precisions such as complete case fulfillment, restocking, and drop shipment will be the order of the day. A similar approach will be taken with data mechanics. At the moment, it's worth considering how many times the same data is entered at distinct supply chain nodes. This occurs among all logistic carriers, suppliers, and customers.

Similarly, purchase orders, labels, bills of loading, inventory statistics, physical details, prediction data, and pricing and cost-related information, among others, are all subject to this. This information is sent into the system operations at each point along the supply chain. A chunk of it is automated. However, a significant portion of data is manually entered into information technology systems. Thus, the major innovation that supply chain analysts should pursue is ensuring that this data entry occurs only once and never again. The 'do not touch' guideline should also be followed.

Intellectual automation is also an ethos for which supply chain management system makers should strive. Automatic sorting and transportation, drones, and robots, among other components, are critical components of such a system. Voice-activated technology, predictive analytics, and artificial intelligence are three crucial enablers of such technologies. In a nutshell, intellectual automation refers to automating critical supply functions. Thus, automation of processes like product data management, invoice management tasks, purchase orders, the design and completion of forms, the generation and updating of reports and spreadsheets, and data entry and gathering are on the horizon.

Additionally, any information requested by any faction of the supply chain system should be made available to it categorically. Any request for charts, graphs, reports, or analysis should be directed to an artificially intelligent system capable of processing it swiftly and efficiently. It is logical to envision a supply chain in the future with an unprecedented level of connection. One is connected to all supply chain nodes via a smartphone. Any element can be detected, tracked, connected to, and informed. Advancement in this phase is projected to smooth down the existing rough edges.

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