The world is evolving at a breakneck speed.
There are hundreds of new innovations every day. Processes are becoming more effective; people are becoming more efficient.
In times like these, it’s imperative that industries embrace new technologies. The choice is simple: either embrace technology, or be left behind.
Like all industries, the supply chain management industry has also seen the advent of numerous new technologies. Some innovations have simplified the complexity of the industry, some have made tracing/tracking easier, while others have helped companies grow their businesses.
While there are myriad new technologies in the industry, here are some innovations that have transformed supply chain management in the recent years:
Big data and statistical analysis
For the uninitiated, Big data is a field that treats ways to analyze and extract information from data sets that are too large or complex to be dealt with by traditional data-processing software. Analysis of Big data allows companies to gather crucial insights into consumer patterns and pain points, distribution trends, strengths and weaknesses of competitors, information that was previously out of reach.
In a way, it enables companies to predict trends, behaviours and the market’s future, giving those who use the technology a solid edge over their rivals. It can be such a significant difference that it has the potential to make or break a company.
Most companies in the supply chain management industry use some or the other software to optimize their supply chain. Most companies start with warehouse management software, as it helps automate critical and menial processes, improve customer service, and improve financial processes and invoicing.
Today, if you are not investing in some quality software to manage your supply chain, you are taking a huge risk. Your rivals are incorporating the latest technologies to reduce both errors and operating costs and improve the bottom line. If you are yet to invest in good software, now is the time! Not only will it make a world of difference to the way you run your supply chain, but it will also transform your business in ways you can’t even imagine, be it improved customer satisfaction, profits or efficiency.
AI, Machine Learning, Deep Learning
You are probably familiar with the concept of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Even if you are not, you have definitely come across it.
Simply put, AI is any computer that’s almost as smart as a human and can perform certain intellectual tasks we can. A part of AI is Machine Learning, which involves machines taking data and learning by themselves. Machine learning allows a system to learn to recognize patterns on its own and make predictions! Fascinating, isn’t it?
Deep Learning is a subset of Machine Learning. It requires higher data sets to ‘learn’ but makes highly accurate predictions.
So how do these technologies help supply chain management, you must be thinking.
For one, the use of these technologies allows you to manage way more products, with a relatively high degree of precision. They make the forecasts and predictions extremely accurate, which means it’s almost as if you can see the future.
Tagging and geolocation technologies
Latest developments in innovations such as tagging and geolocation technologies have enabled real-time tracking of goods, which has drastically improved traceability. Using technology such as RFID has allowed monitoring thousands of assets in different locations, provide real time in-transit visibility, eliminating blind spots in the supply chain. The use of RFID technology also allows real-time alerts for several supply chain issues such as tampering and delays, allowing teams to implement contingency plans in place and reduce delays.
Although tough to implement, the blockchain technology can work wonders for supply chain management.
In case you are not aware of what a blockchain is, it is a growing list of records that are linked using cryptography. By design, the data stored in a blockchain cannot be modified easily, making it an excellent choice for sensitive data.
How can the blockchain technology help the supply chain management industry?
Well, the short answer is that it increases transparency (and hence reliability) when it comes to managing supply chains. The fact that it is impossible to hack makes it a secure option, for which many supply chain companies are adopting this technology.
Technology has enabled companies to manage their supply chains with an efficiency never seen before. It has made a huge difference in the approach while managing supply chains and any company not investing in quality technological assets are bound to be left behind. Not just that, technology has become an integral part of many supply chain managers. Once you go tech, there’s no turning back.