Top 3 Ways Supply Chain 4.0 Technologies Are Revolutionizing Supply Chain Operations

Summary

Although making the jump towards a fully digitized and interconnected supply chain system requires significant commitment on the part of the organization as well as deep pockets, the payoff is well worth the price of admission. A few of the most notable benefits include:

1. Increased visibility, heightened responsiveness and greater resiliency across the organization’s entire supply chain ecosystem
2. Smarter warehouse management gives companies leeway to experiment with different floor plans, workflows, and other important variables to accurately assess the overall impact on operations.
3. Satisfying evolving customer expectations as well as facilitating synergistic co-creation of value, between both the organization and its customers.

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COVID-19’s cataclysmic impact on supply chains has heightened the need for organizations to focus on risk mitigation and improving resiliency. This digitization of the supply chain, or “Supply Chain 4.0,” is becoming a revolution that will soon take the world by storm. Capitalizing on 4.0 technologies is no longer simply tied to risk mitigation but is rather becoming a chief source of competitive advantage, as every single node within the supply chain is leveraged for bringing together both suppliers and customers in entirely new ways. 

Making the jump towards a fully digitized and interconnected supply chain system requires significant commitment on the part of the organization as well as deep pockets, but the payoff is well worth the price of admission. Here are a few key benefits every organization will accrue, should they decide to embrace the digitization of their supply chain network with open arms:  

 Espouse End-to-End Visibility:  

Increased visibility, heightened responsiveness and greater resiliency across the entire supply chain ecosystem are something that organizations continuously strive for. And now with technology taking center stage, it is no more than an arm’s length away.    

Advancements in supply chain tech such as automated warehousing, cargo tracking using cloud-based GPS and remote fleet management can give organizations real-time visibility into asset status and provide instant updates on asset location even when the cargo is in transit.  

Real-time tracking using smart sensors can help accurately gauge transportation performance and delivery route inefficiencies which can then be streamlined to optimize the supply chain for variable customer demand. Furthermore, smart sensors can be used to easily detect quality issues and address production flows in real-time with minimal human intervention. Such preciseness helps managers provide location-centric instructions to workers, saving time and avoiding last-minute shocks such as inadequate quantity or non-compliance. 

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 Smart Warehouse Management: 

Warehouse operations are increasing in complexity with time. Organizations can no longer adopt a simple trial-and-error approach to tinker with existing layouts and workflows to optimize warehouse operations. Rather organizations must make use of “digital twin” simulations. A digital twin simulation allows companies to create virtual models of their existing facilities, and then test different scenarios without having to shut down warehouse operations. 

This digital approach toward warehouse management gives companies leeway to experiment with different floor plans, workflows, and other important variables to accurately assess the overall impact on operations. For instance, warehouse managers can easily assess the performance impact of changes in the SKU mix, shipment profiles, seasonal demand spikes, productivity initiatives and among other things. This level of detail allows warehouse designs to be optimized in advance long before anyone starts moving physical assets within the warehouse. 

 Satisfy Evolving Customer Expectations: 

Since the dawn of time, organizations have always been reevaluating their distribution models as consumers’ shopping habits change. In 2022 however, customers are spoilt for choice and have little to no tolerance for delayed or incorrect orders. This means that logistics and distribution—from forecasting product demand to order fulfillment to shipping—must happen at lightning speed.  As a result, an organization’s value chain must become predicated on a high level of transparency, information sharing and customer satisfaction. This pushes organizations down a path towards micro-segmentation, and mass customization ideas will finally be implemented across the value chain. Embedded sensor technologies can help in this regard as they make use of predictive analytics and machine learning algorithms to reliably predict demand, recognize patterns and anticipate changes. Customers will then be put into granular clusters and a broad spectrum of suitable products that are personalized to meet their needs will be offered accordingly. This sets organizations and customers up for synergistic co-creation of value, leaving both parties satisfied and smiling at the end of it all. 

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 The Future of Supply Chain 

Supply chain 4.0 is becoming a reality and the traditional process framework that organizations were accustomed to has begun undergoing a harsh yet necessary transformation. While the organizations are still in the developing stage, the pandemic has forced organizations to begin redefining their supply chain 4.0 roadmap. If you’re having trouble redefining your supply chain roadmap, reach out to us at info@adtechcorp.in. Adtech is a tech consultancy company that aims to help organizations redefine their technology roadmap and attain operational excellence.

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