Whether it be technology or life, change is the only constant. And, people who resist these changes or fail to accept them are often left behind. And so, it is imperative to welcome these for having an edge in the competitive arena.
Supply Chain Management is one such dynamic field, where everyday something is changing to meet the demands of time. It is a dynamic field that is modifying its processes constantly, to ease out the workflow, mitigate the roadblocks and cater to the requirements posed. This sector has witnessed several changes in the past few years that have helped it expand, improve and become more efficient.
Today, in this article, we walk you through some ground-breaking changes and how they have impacted this sector and the industry as a whole.
Cloud technology and cloud-based commerce networks
With the exponential increase in data, the efforts and the cost of allocating, creating, and maintaining data center infrastructure have become increasingly high. Not only this, the additional cost of hiring especially, skilled resources to handle this entire data system cuts a hole in the pocket too. And that’s exactly why the concept of cloud technology and cloud-based commerce networks was thought of and invented.
With the advent of cloud-driven technology, organizations can now leverage large pools of IT resources remotely and as per their need. Not only this, it has helped to collate and synchronize the supply chain and logistics information into a single-point system. This has not only strengthened the information links but ensures consistency of information across the different strata.
Internet of Things
Gone are the days when the systems were heavily dependent on manual intervention for QA, exception handling, and efficient management. Now, is the time for IoT.
Internet of Things, or IoT, is one of the many inventions that is already having a huge impact across different technical as well as non-technical industries. For the Supply Chain Management sector, it has revolutionized the way it worked. From increasing operation efficiency risk forecasting, inventory management, and workflow tracking to collating granular data time spent, temperature dependency, and churn rates, it has contributed significantly to mitigating the bottlenecks and boosting the sector growth.
Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
Making life decisions are so tough, right? But, thanks to artificial intelligence-driven systems and Machine Learning guided technologies, that is not the case with those taken at the industry level. The data-driven decision-making, made possible by AI and ML, has helped the Supply Chain Management sector to boost its profits exponentially.
Be it analyzing real-time sales data or air transit delays, demand forecasting or task prioritization, be it robotic help at the warehouses or user behavior analysis, the wave of artificial intelligence and machine learning has made all this, a lot more, possible within a few clicks.
Advanced and predictive analytics
This is another emerging field that is in close sync with IoT and ML and is significantly helping different sectors to ease the data burden. It takes into account the extrapolation of the data derived from the IoT-driven systems and works towards analyzing it to predict various real-time or near real-time situations like dynamic pricing, sales pattern identification, cost optimization algorithms, etc.
Digital supply chain twins
It is the digital replica of the entire supply chain that is built on the basis the real-world entities. It takes into consideration all the links and factors – customers, warehouses, distribution centers, manufacturers, weather, costs, etc., that help it in serving as a proxy that can be experimented with, modified as per need, or set back to defaults, without hampering the real-world counterpart.
Many companies in this sector, use these digital supply chain twins to test promotions, apply predictive maintenance, simulate cost optimization techniques, etc.
This is a technology that has existed for quite some time now but has only gained popularity in the commercial sector in recent times. It has grown to become an effective mode to support on-demand manufacturing needs that help save costs, efforts, and time.
As per the research done by the 3D Printing Industry, 71.1% of manufacturing companies have already used 3D printing in some form. Nearly one-third (31.4%) use it for rapid prototyping. 6.6% of manufacturers currently use 3D printing to produce end products, while 42% of manufacturers say they plan to implement 3D printing for mass manufacturing within the next three to five years.
Thus, it becomes imperative to be open to accepting and incorporating changes within our work to steadfast the processes and gain an advantage in the competitive scope. It not only helps accelerate profits but also cut time, money, and efforts that can be put to use on other important tasks.