Despite years of improvements, logistical delays and poor management still affect the supply chain, among other pressing concerns. Maintaining a global supply chain isn’t a piece of cake with the core aim of maximizing profits, timely deliveries, and customer satisfaction.

So, what are some major challenges of the supply chain?

  • Difficulty in predicting the customer demands and meeting customer expectations
  • Data protection from cyber-attacks, risk of disclosure and manipulation
  • Streamlining and improving the supply chain, balancing lead time and delays
  • Developing an appropriate data management system

New technological advances trigger rapid transitions in the supply chain. From Artificial intelligence (AI) to Cloud computing to the Internet of Things (IoT), all ushered better customer experiences and satisfaction. Digital transformation is turning out to be the key to newer and advanced supply chain management (SCM) efficiencies. According to IDC, by 2022, worker shortages will drive 75% of supply chains to optimize automation investments, resulting in a 10% increase in productivity.

Five most promising technologies for modernizing supply chain operations:

Artificial Intelligence

AI enables enterprises to scan huge data volumes and gain insights at a micro-level of the supply chain, with the least human involvement. AI can be employed throughout the supply chain, like warehouse management, to uncover trends, forecast scenarios, vendor relationships, and maintain logistics. With warehouse automation like delivery drones and mobile robots, manual operations are quickly becoming obsolete.

According to IDC, “by 2023, 50% of all supply chain forecasts will be automated using artificial intelligence, improving accuracy by 5% points.”

Robotics Process Automation (RPA)

RPA is now being used to enhance efficiency levels at almost every point of the supply chain. Several businesses overcame employee shortages amid the pandemic crisis by automating processes. Automation helps speed up processes and eliminate errors. Supplier management automation can be utilized to automatically acquire and analyze real-time data, replacing cumbersome and labor-intensive manual processes. Processes that can be automated in the supply chain include order processing, payments, onboarding, shipment tracking, scheduling, customer service, invoice management, and many more.

Enterprises can gain significant advancements in order quantity, order fulfillment, and fewer shipment delays by implementing robotic process automation in the supply chain process.

Cloud Computing

According to IDC, “by 2024, cloud adoption in the supply chain would increase by 25%.” Cloud computing streamlines the supply chain network by offering infrastructure and digital solutions, leading to operational and financial advantages. Cloud technology enables businesses to process massive amounts of data at a much higher speed from almost endless sources throughout the supply chain. Production cycle times can be shortened by using cloud-based analysis.

Using a cloud-based application to automate pricing, quotation, and client confirmations helps cut down order cycle times and improve customer satisfaction. A better SCM can be seen by streamlining order and production management through the cloud-based warehouse management system.

Internet of Things (IoT)

With a collection of interconnected devices and sensors that collect and share data, IoT provides a tremendous opportunity for supply chain optimization. Some of the key goals for IoT adoption in supply chain management include monitoring and tracking. When applied to the global supply chain, IoT technology helps businesses enhance efficiency, improve the consumer experience, and cut down the overall cost.

IoT devices can track and identify shipments in the supply chain and keep track of the product storage conditions. Suppliers can also monitor raw material and storage conditions such as temperature, humidity, etc. This reduces wastage and simplifies tracking the quality of items across the supply chain.

Data Science

Given that the supply chain is also a data-driven department, it would be safe to assume that it can rely on data science approaches such as predictive analysis. Data science predictive analytics are extremely useful in anticipating, optimizing, and organizing numerous operations in a supply chain.

Predictive analytics helps forecast future trends using past data sets. It aids in precise forecasting in SCM, such as predicting and displaying the optimum transit routes, future demands using present sales data, and much more. Big data, on the other hand, is being rapidly used in SCM for procurement planning like supplier selection, demand forecasting, and sensing.

Digital Road Map for Your Business

Gartner predicts that “50% of supply chain firms will invest in applications that support artificial intelligence and advanced analytics capabilities by 2024.”

A rapid and efficient supply chain helps reduce business complexity and accelerate growth. To remain competitive, businesses must integrate technologies like RPA to automate logistics operations, Data Science and AI for timely deliveries, IoT, and Cloud to manage inventory to establish exceptional customer experiences that generate higher revenue.
Evoke Technologies has helped several global manufacturers and retailers with robust digital technologies for building efficient inventory management systems to drive massive change. Agile inventory management plays a decisive role in building credibility, excellent customer experience, and brand loyalty. The decision-makers, warehouse managers, and inventory supervisors need to look beyond the information silos and inefficient legacy systems to deliver enterprise value to customers.

If your supply chain/warehouse requires time-tested technology developments, deployments, and integrations, our team is here to guide you with expert assistance. Book an exploratory meeting with our technology expert: https://bit.ly/3x1wEow

Sailakshmi Yeluri