In the modern supply chain, the technology and software you use are as important as your strategies. Plenty of decisions and actions you need to take now happen in the digital world. So, you must pick the right technology if you want to see better efficiency in your chain. In essence, choosing the solution you want to use can make or break your position on the global stage. Hence, technology is and will stay one of the main things that define the game. But, what are the exact factors that are reshaping the supply chain industry? Well, that’s what we’re here to find out.
Last year, COVID-19 took the supply chain to a new place, but not all in a bad way. The changes that took place opened new opportunities and created new practices for companies. We found ways to improve agility and eliminate risks, and things are only getting better.
To figure out how to make them better for your system, take a look at the key things that are transforming the industry at the moment.
Algorithm-based decision-making software and data analyzers are being adopted in every niche, so it’s clear that the era of useful AI has arrived.
When it comes to the supply chains, among other things, AI can help you eliminate human error and reduce costs. It’ll allow you to restructure workflows, so all your workers can be more focused and productive. The technology will support them and make their jobs easier. We’ll explain how this happens a bit later.
The pace of technological change
Technology is developing faster than we can learn to use it. Let’s take eCommerce as an example. It provided people with a whole new way of shopping and took the world by storm. All of a sudden, you’re able to find anything you need and have it delivered to your door without ever having to leave the comfort of your home. Thanks to it, customer demands and expectations have changed. Now, they expect quick and even same-day deliveries. So, the logistics industry has to respond to that to stay in favor of people.
As a company, the only way to stay relevant is to build a reliable infrastructure and learn how to use new technology developments. Experts believe that online and mobile shopping will be the preferred way of buying for the majority of people in the future. Even today, people are getting everything from groceries to appliances online, so why would that change in the years to come?
To update your system, try to make your processes more streamlined. That will give you a better chance of keeping up with modern timeframes.
The Internet of things
We can’t talk about the factors that are reshaping the supply chain industry and not mention the Internet of things. Although most people will associate the term with smart home appliances, this technology is actually invented to deal with sensors and tracking equipment.
So, the IoT is what you’ll use if you want to reduce commercial warehousing costs. However, it can help you do much more than just that. With it, you can connect all the products, people, and processes within your organization and share information among them in real-time. Just like that, everything becomes streamlined, and your productivity goes up.
Automation and robotics
Of course, people have been using task-specific robots for decades in industries such as automotive. However, the latest generation of robots can learn how to do multiple tasks, so they have much more potential.
In supply chains, you can find a use case for these almost anywhere. Add AI into the mix, and you quickly realize that robots can bring many new things to manufacturing processes and reduce staff costs. With time, more and more repetitive or dangerous tasks will be performed by these.
Big Data is used to track data and measure the performance of factories in real-time. In past times, to survey workers, you had to put an entire factory under surveillance. But today, modern sensors and networks give us insights that we couldn’t get before. You can even collect data on each and every employee if you want to. This way, you’ll spot problems much more easily and fix them sooner.
When you remove the bottlenecks in the delivery process, you’ll also improve the lives of your workers. You’ll streamline their roles, and they won’t waste time on unnecessary or frustrating tasks. If you rely on Big Data-driven decision-making, you’ll create a leaner business model and reduce wastage.
If we’re talking about prototyping new products and designs, there isn’t a tool as useful as 3D printing. Companies that invested in it say that they managed to halve their prototype production times, and that’s a huge thing. If you have to wait for weeks until you get parts to start working, that creates problems right down the supply chain. It lengthens the process and increases the costs. On the other hand, 3D printing alleviates supply chain weaknesses that already exist.
Use it, and you can apply design iterations to the molds within hours. So, you’ll be speeding up the process and encouraging the closer engagement of product designers and the manufacturing team. And for that, 3D printing is one of the factors that are reshaping the supply chain industry.
Factors that are reshaping the supply chain industry – delivered
Incredible advancements in technology are at the root of all factors that are reshaping the supply chain industry. If you fail to incorporate them, you will fall behind. Therefore, follow the latest trends and introduce the changes that will streamline your processes, make your business functioning more efficiently and productive.
Deon Williams is a freelance writer with a degree in systems engineering. Although it’s not his main job, he loves to write articles and share his expertise. In the past, Deon helped companies like zippyshelldmv.com to streamline their processes and increase their earnings. When he’s not working, he loves to read in his comfy chair and play basketball with his two sons.
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