6 Emerging Technologies in Supply Chain Management
In today’s fast-paced business environment, adopting the most advanced technologies is important to maintain competitiveness in supply chain management. An increasing number of companies are choosing the irreversible path of technological integration and building supply chains that are effective, sustainable, and socially responsible.
Innovative technologies like artificial intelligence, neural networks, and machine learning have considerably changed logistics over the past ten years. It’s a business revolution driven by consumer demands for faster delivery, lower prices, and better corporate environmental practices.
How can your business adjust to the new normal? End-to-end supply chain automation and multi-dimensional systems are examples of innovations that assist businesses in using cutting-edge approaches to solve current issues.
In this article, we will discuss the main supply chain management technologies, how they are integrated into existing enterprises, and how much they will impact supply chains in the future.
6 Innovative Supply Chain Technology Tools You Should Invest In
Since the invention of the wheel, technology has been a part of supply chain optimization. But not all technology is created equal. The real game changers for industry success in the future will be those that can be repurposed and those on the cutting edge of the digital horizon.
Blockchain discussions usually center on finance. However, its strong data security and authentication capabilities also make it possible to track goods and materials, secure all transaction data, and speed up processes without compromising accuracy or exposing risks in the procurement industry.
Lack of transparency is a frequent problem in the international trade of goods. Processing invoices and shipments can take months, not to mention the complexity of handling a higher volume across various companies. By enhancing security and traceability, blockchain has the potential to revolutionize the supply chain sector. The blockchain, which has become quite well known for its ability to support cryptocurrencies, may also help businesses by handling contracts and agreements.
One of the companies that have already adopted blockchain technology is Walmart. To track quality and prevent expensive waste and contamination, the retail giant developed and tested a blockchain-based system that monitors quality in the United States and Mexico.
- Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
To improve forecasting, planning, implementation, and maintenance in logistics and to more closely approximate human performance and expertise, AI and machine learning develop fully or partially automated processes and procedures.
With the help of various data sources, AI can trace demand curves, provide real-time data on materials and goods moving through the supply chain, and monitor inventory levels across all locations to spot potential disruptions. These data sources include information on climate and weather conditions, geopolitical activity, and cybersecurity threats.
It may also contain details regarding a supplier’s ethical and environmental record. These are the two main issues in a time when more businesses sell directly to customers and customers are speaking publicly about sustainability, moral behavior, and social responsibility.
More crucially, when combined with advanced analytics, it may make recommendations for solutions to those issues, such as rerouting shipments, activating substitute suppliers, and adjusting data security in real-time. And with advances in natural language processing, AI-powered systems can now present their recommendations in a language that is understandable to humans.
- Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things (IoT) connects multiple devices in a streamlined manner, improving visibility and connectivity while also cutting expenses. While various IoTs enable warehouse and logistics managers to safely track goods and monitor equipment, there are additional advantages:
- Better customer service
- Streamlined inventory and supply availability
- Safer and more dependable work conditions
- Improved asset utilization
IoT will keep enhancing the data streams that are utilized to drive process improvement, opportunity capture, and risk reduction in the future. The Internet of Things is at the center of tomorrow’s supply chain, enabling real-time inventory management, control of in-plant machinery and systems, monitoring disruptions and malfunctions, and automatically scheduling repairs or replacements.
Unilog, a leader in global supply chain management, understands the power of IoT in driving comprehensive solutions. With IoT network architecture fast becoming a game-changer in the 21st century, Unilog believes that incorporating IoT technology is key to achieving business objectives and optimizing supply chain design.
- Robotics and Automation
According to Deloitte, the use of robots in supply chain operations that involve low-value, potentially hazardous, or high-risk tasks is anticipated to rise significantly over the next five years.
This should come as no surprise to anyone working in logistics, given the enormous expansion of e-commerce. Applications of robotic technology include last-mile delivery, autonomous vehicles including drones, trucks, and trains, as well as storage and retrieval systems (ASRS).
- Increased use of autonomous robots can accomplish the following objectives:
- Boost productivity and efficiency.
- Lower risk and rework rates.
- Increase the security of employees.
- Accomplish menial jobs so that people can focus on more strategic endeavors.
- Enhance sales by expediting order fulfillment and delivery while maintaining customer satisfaction.
Companies will be able to invest in automation thanks to new pricing models, which will make the transition to robotics much more feasible. Instead of clients making an upfront capital investment, suppliers use a RaaS-type business (Robotics as a Service) to lease units through a monthly service contract.
- Advanced supply chain management software
The supply chain industry as a whole has been impacted by advanced software. Logistics companies are constantly integrating technology into their supply chain systems to remain competitive. Due to consumer demands for low prices, quick deliveries, and the rising popularity of customer rating measures, businesses feel pressured to keep up with the newest technologies available.
Supply chain software becomes increasingly sophisticated with time, enabling businesses to stay ahead of mistakes, alter orders, communicate via numerous media, and automate shipment.
Modern supply chain management software accurately and successfully streamlines activities. Beyond the conventional internal data in supply chain management systems and software, big data increases the dataset for analysis. Additionally, it uses statistical procedures on both fresh and old data sources for enhancing the general functionality of supply chain management software.
- Cloud-based AI
Big data is generated by supply chains, and cloud-based AI transforms that data into insights. Supply chains now function differently thanks to cloud computing and AI, and over the next ten years, their capabilities will only become more complicated. Predictive analytics enables the following processes by utilizing historical market indicators and trend data:
- Promotes process automation
- Guiding the choice of the provider
- Strengthening customer support
- Accelerating supplier integration and automating supplier administration
- Delivering up-to-date details about shipments
- Assessing carrier performance and foreseeing trends in operational problems
After many years in the logistics industry, Unilog created a platform for progressive companies to utilize supply chain knowledge management systems to respond to supply chain difficulties in real time. To address the digitalization of the supply chain, Logivice, a platform offering an inventory management system, pays close attention to automation and data quality. While evolving in response to a real-world need, the platform is founded on listening to people and examining what truly bothers everyone.
After spending years in the logistics industry, Unilog came up with Logivice – a platform for forward-thinking companies to tackle supply chain challenges head-on. With a focus on automation and data quality, Logivice’s inventory management system is designed to help companies respond to real-world needs. The best part is that it’s all based on customer demands and needs. We listen to what’s truly bothering our customers and design tailored solutions to address those problems.
With the help of Logivice, Unilog can expand each current module or develop new modules based on the current information architecture. Our cloud-based platform is accessible and secure from any location.
3 Tools That Will Impact Supply Chain Management in the Future
Any new technologies that promote automation and efficiency will continue to be a part of supply chain management in the future.
Here are a few more software trends that experts believe are imminent:
- Autonomous mobile robots (AMR):
Although AMRs have previously been mentioned by industry leaders in supply chains like Amazon, they haven’t yet been widely adopted. While warehouse management systems will still be used to schedule tasks like loading and unloading, AMRs may become a useful tool for picking process optimization.
- Driverless vehicles and drone delivery:
Companies can solve many problems by using driverless and drone delivery methods. Reducing the amount of human intervention, not only reduces expenses but also increases access to rural areas that are far away and challenging to reach. While some have previously expressed skepticism about this technology, it could be a useful tool in the future, especially given the growing shortage of qualified human drivers.
- 3D printing:
For several industries, 3D printing has completely revolutionized the business process. Metal and plastic products can employ 3D printing to duplicate and create replacement parts.
Companies can work with nearby 3D printing firms to create and deliver products in a matter of days rather than keeping items in a sizable warehouse to be shipped around the world. Customers are more satisfied as a result of the benefits of inventory and space management being transferred to them.
In conclusion, the technologies that are redefining fundamental procurement operations like supply chain management are becoming more and more important as businesses turn to logistics as a primary source of strategic insights, continuous improvement, and value creation.
Looking ahead, it is evident that companies will need to consider these new technologies and make large investments in them today if they wish to compete successfully in the digital marketplace of the future.
So, make future success tangible and recreate your business endeavors into reality by employing emerging technologies in your supply management system! Reach out to us immediately and find out how Unilog’s digital supply chain solutions can be tailored to your company’s global needs and challenges.