How will technology change the managing of supply chains?
Using technology to get the most from supply chain management.
Technology has changed business for the better – it has allowed for more connectivity between employees and employers, made more information available, allowed for more streamlined storage of files, and increased analytical power of data. As technology continues to grow, change, and advance, the benefits of technology in business will continue to strengthen organizations.
One area that continues to develop in the face of technological advancements is supply chain management. Supply chain logistics are key to many businesses – it can affect everything from the quality of your products to the speed of delivery to your customers. Since supply chain can have several points of impact on your company, it can be beneficial to take advantage of technological developments to get the most from your supply chain strategy.
What is the digital supply chain?
Since supply chain involves manufacturing and delivery of real, tangible parts and products, the term “digital supply chain” seems counterintuitive. But digital supply chain technology is one of the most promising technology expansions in the world of supply chain management.
Some supply chain managers will say that if you use electronic data transfer or keep digital records, you’re already in the age of digital supply chain management. However, as we think about advancing tech, increasingly smart software, and advanced analytics, we can see that digital supply chain refers to a much bigger picture of potential.
Many of these digital features offer a way for logistics to be tracked and analyzed in real-time:
- Technology stored and deployed in the cloud makes it easier for all parties attached to the supply chain and logistics method to be able to see information
- Real time traffic data that could affect shipping and receiving of components of parts for product manufacturing or end user receipt of products
- Internet of Things capability and tracking software that makes it easier to understand the transit and handling of products and materials
- “Smart road” technology that can build off traffic and weather data and plan new routes or automatically alert key personnel of delays
- Share shipping information with customers
- Some people have even speculated that driverless delivery and robotic warehouses are the next step in the digital supply chain
As an example of digital supply chain in action, Amazon an organization that uses its digital logistics technology to communicate with its customers – Amazon handles massive amounts of supply chain logistics and information daily, from their distributor customer accounts to their warehouses to their end user customers and one of their modern updates is to alert customers through their app that their package is not only on its way, but next on their delivery drivers’ route. This kind of real-time information is an asset to customer service and a growth in efficiencies.
The digital supply chain technology advancements will likely drive much of the global supply chain management model over the coming years. Do you think it’s a valuable technology to further supply chain success? Are there other technologies you would invest in to grow supply chain quality or efficiency?