Technology’s Role In the Modern Supply Chain

Posted: June 5, 2022

The business world has seen major shifts in supply chain management as more and more people buy and sell goods over the Internet. While it’s just another ecosystem for retail outfits, other companies that need to source resources from different types of companies from all over the planet have found that global shortages and capital constraints brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have changed the way they have to do business.

The Modern Supply Chain

Advances in technology have gone a long way toward helping businesses get control over their supply chains when changes in both socio-economic and world health concerns threaten to interrupt the flow of goods. Let’s take a look at some tools that can help improve organizational supply chain management (SCM)

Cloud Technology

It’s not overstating it to say that most organizations have been utilizing cloud-based technology in their business, but there aren’t a lot that naturally use it for their supply chain. The main issue is a perceived lack of security. Many people believe that cloud computing has some security issues that keep it from being the secure computing platform that their business needs. With a few best practices, however, there is nothing that you can’t do with cloud computing resources while maintaining security.

The main benefit of cloud computing is the access to advanced tools from any place that has Internet connectivity, which provides secure access for each user. This is a huge benefit to SCM. There are, however, other major benefits. They include:

  • Increased agility - The use of thorough analytics can help businesses quickly identify technology and services they need to invest in to help their business work optimally.
  • Improved collaboration - The more separate people that can add insights into managing your organizational supply chain, the more comprehensive your SCM will be.
  • Easy scalability - One great benefit of using cloud computing is the ease in which it can be scaled to your business’ needs.
  • Cost realignment - Shifting your business’ computing resources to more of an operational cost output allows you to better identify and budget for the technology needed for procurement and SEM.

Internet of Things

The IoT is often combined with cloud computing tools to build a more effective and efficient supply chain. It does this by utilizing sensors that report the movements of resources and provide a much more specific look at how an organization’s supply chain works.  Here are some ways the IoT can help any organization manage their supply chain:

  • Location tracking - With IoT integration, companies can track resources and products’ whereabouts in real-time. This keeps them flowing in the direction they need for business efficiency, including notifying admins when shipments go off course.
  • Storage conditions - IoT makes everything smarter, including the storage of resources and products. You can automate the tracking and control of the temperature, pressure, humidity, etc. of items to ensure they are stored properly.

Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning

Finally, the development of artificially intelligent computing platforms is transforming the modern supply chain. Supply Chain Management (SCM) applications that integrate AI into them, are shifting away from the traditional ship and report model of SCM and providing new ways of streamlining the supply chain processes. This is mainly completed through:

  • Predictive analytics - The digital transformation of an organization’s supply chain results in a lot of actionable information being produced; unfortunately it’s so much that standard methods can’t analyze it. Using AI, however, businesses can use the data created by their workflow to streamline inventory controls, maintenance, and logistics to create a much more efficient operation.
  • Creation of digital twins - In what is an innovative strategy, some companies are creating virtual copies of their physical business and using machine learning to improve their whole SCM process, and can actually make decision-making faster and easier, reducing costs and inefficiencies.

Technology can change the way that you look at your business and can remedy a lot of your operational problems. If you would like to have a conversation about how to use technology to build better supply chain management, or if you would just like help sorting through your business’ inefficiencies, contact us.

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