Smart Technology Needs Smart Supply Chains

Is your supply chain keeping up with technological improvements? Do you have a weak link that is impacting your overall delivery?

APICS Milwaukee Chapter serves the supply chain community with education and information needed to compete in today’s world. Supply chain managers need to ensure that their suppliers are able to adapt and adopt new technologies.

Manufacturers have been investing in increased automation and less dependence on human intervention, especially based on the impacts of the global pandemic disrupting production and supply chains.  As stated well by IOTTechNews, “The smart revolution may be happening more rapidly in manufacturing. However, it is important for supply chains to ensure that every moving part also keeps up with digitalization. There is little value in being able to manufacture products efficiently only to fail in the handling and delivery. The whole supply chain must step up.”

What can you do to ensure your supply chain can keep the pace with technology? Gartner shared their top 8 trends supply chain technology trends for 2020 summarized below.

  1. Hyperautomation: A framework to mix and match a vast array of technologies in the best possible way, such as historic legacy platforms with recently deployed tools and planned investments. The term means different things for different organizations, so supply chain leaders must first find their individual definition. If deployed correctly, hyperautomation can encourage broader collaboration across domains and act as an integrator for disparate and siloed functions.
  2. Digital supply chain twin (DSCT): DSCT is a digital representation of the physical supply chain. It is derived from all relevant data across the supply chain and its operating environment. That makes the DSCT the basis for all local and end-to-end decision making.
  3. Continuous intelligence: One of the biggest opportunities for supply chain leaders to accelerate their organizations’ digital transformation. It leverages a computer’s ability to process data at a much faster pace than people can. Supply chain leaders — or other systems — can look at the processed data, understand what is happening and take action immediately.
  4. Supply chain governance and security: This is an increasingly important macro trend, as global risk events are on the rise and security breaches impact companies on both the digital and physical levels. “Gartner anticipates a wave of new solutions to emerge for supply chain security and governance, especially in the fields of privacy as well as cyber and data security,” Titze says. “Think advanced track-and-trace solutions, smart packaging, and next-gen RFID and NFC capabilities.”
  5. Edge computing and analytics: The rise of edge computing, where data is processed and analyzed close to its collection point, coincides with the proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. It’s the technology needed when there is a demand for low-latency processing and real-time, automated decision making.
  6. Artificial intelligence (AI): AI in supply chain consists of a toolbox of technology options that help companies understand complex content, engage in natural dialogue with people, enhance human performance and take over routine tasks. Currently, AI helps supply chain leaders solve longstanding challenges around data silos and governance. Its capabilities allow for more visibility and integration across networks of stakeholders that were previously remote or disparate.
  7. 5G Networks: Compared to its predecessors, 5G is a massive step forward with regard to data speed and processing capabilities. The ubiquitous nature of 5G boosts its potential for supply chains. For example, running a 5G network in a factory can minimize latency and enhance real-time visibility and IoT capabilities.
  8. Immersive experience: Technology such as virtual, augmented and mixed reality has the potential to radically influence the trajectory of supply chain management. Those new interaction models amplify human capabilities, and companies already see the benefits in use cases like onboarding new workers through immersive on-the-job training in a safe, realistic virtual environment.

While the world around us is always changing, it’s imperative that supply chain managers keep learning and adapting to be successful. At APICS Milwaukee, we are here to help you with the education and information needed to remain competitive.

Looking for more information to improve your supply chain, logistics and distribution efforts? Join us in October for expert led instructor classes for globally recognized certifications in in-person and virtual for CPIM Part II (Starts 10/19), CSCP (Starts 10/7) and CLTD (Starts 10/7). Learn more…