The world is constantly changing and must always be at the forefront of innovation in the economy. Success in the business field must be accompanied by a well-coordinated logistics strategy, and with this goal innovation must be welcomed. With this in mind, global supply chains have decided to join the Industry 4.0 revolution.
A supply chain consists of various direct and indirect processes with the aim of satisfying the customer. Optimizing the supply chain is a process that gradually helps to gain flexibility, support management, increase the efficiency of processes, reduce risks and at the same time minimize waste generation.
In order to improve the results, it is important to know trends, changes in demand and the market and to understand the possibilities of new progress. Business leaders must also be familiar with technology.
When it comes to the supply chain, there are some discoveries that will change the presence of the business and change the future of logistics. These are the following:
IoT: The Internet of Things
With IoT technologies, you can connect people, processes, data and goods via sensors and intelligent devices. This gives you unprecedented control over processes and events in the supply chain. This enables a higher percentage of correct deliveries and ensures that the goods arrive in perfect condition.
The Internet of Things makes it possible to achieve the goal of a more competitive business by facilitating fuel savings (thanks to real-time traffic monitoring and the possibility of recalculating routes) and increasing the efficiency of the transport function.
It also helps to grow your business through an improved value proposition, with advantages such as: reducing product losses during transport, promoting consumer awareness, inventory monitoring for optimized warehouse management or ensuring the temperature stability of the goods being transported.
The IoT in the supply chain can be seen, for example, in intelligent containers that enable the tracking of a load, its status, its location, its temperature fluctuations, etc. The same applies to land and also in warehouses, which enables better control of entry and exit and monitoring of loads until they reach the consumer or end user.
Blockchain systems offer a stable and reliable architecture for the transmission of information. Although it is often used to record cryptocurrency transactions, Blockchain technology can be extremely useful in protecting all types of digital data, and application to a supply chain network can offer many advantages.
In blockchain technology processes, there is no room for human error or their intervention to modify or change the process.
IA and RPA
The systems or machines that imitate human intelligence are called artificial intelligence (AI). Together with Robotic Process Automation (RPA), these are the technologies for which the greatest investment growth is forecast to be business level and within the supply chain.
The implementation of AI has an end-to-end impact on the entire value chain of companies and especially on the management of supply chains and helps to significantly improve the decision-making process.
All of this makes it possible not only to improve the physical flow of materials and products, but also to improve the flow of information and finance, and to significantly improve productivity in all elements of the chain through better visibility for all agents. Improving processes and product quality, as well as achieving improved customer service, reducing errors and defects.
RPA technology requires automation of repetitive digital work tasks such as collecting, transferring, and entering information, managing files within servers, and scanning and storing data. among other things of data and documents.
For most companies, these daily tasks require a significant amount of their staff’s time and resources, and here RPA changes the rules of the game.
Logistics companies such as Amazon, DHL and DB Schenker are already using robotics and artificial intelligence to rationalize manual processes beforehandHow to optimize your chain and make your company more profitable.
Another technology to be highlighted is 3D printing. If the technology continues as expected, 3D printing will have a significant impact on the world of logistics in the not too distant future.
Various international studies ensure that this innovation has the potential to change the way we design, manufacture, and ship a product.This has a direct impact on corporate decision making and trade flows worldwide.
Charles Hull, co-founder of 3D Systems, was the forerunner of this technology when he invented stereolithography, a process that can be used to print three-dimensional objects from digital data.
However, one of the moments when this technology was most useful in the industry is right now. Given the pandemic and the impact of COVID-19, many supply chains have been able to offer 3D printing manufacturing solutions as an ally, enabling them to meet the need for parts quickly, locally, and at a reduced cost. 3D Systems has participated through its on-demand service, particularly in the hospital sector.
The technology surrounds us and its promise of improvement continues. However, any decision related to the problem must undergo a detailed analysis process as part of a clear supply chain strategy that always sees the technology as a great broker.