Top Technologies That Will Change The Future Of The Supply Chain Sector
The supply chain sector continues to grow and develop over the years. In fact, it has been quite a historic decade for the supply chain industry. We can clearly see how digitization and other groundbreaking solutions significantly contributed to the overall improvement and success of logistics infrastructure worldwide.
Through the years, technological advancements and innovation continue to strengthen the capabilities and functions of every logistics element. This goes all the way from order picking, proper packaging and labeling, shipment, and transportation down to last-mile delivery. Other factors, like increased customer demands and close market competition, also paved the way for the sector’s rapid [digital] transformation.
That being said, here are some other top technologies that will change the future of the supply chain sector:
Artificial intelligence or AI refers to intelligence demonstrated by robots or machines. It supports most organizations’ vision for better and broader supply chain automation. AI machines and solutions significantly help automate a lot of supply chain processes like customer demand forecasting, product control, planning, or predictive upkeep, just to name a few.
Many warehouse spaces today are too huge to operate on human hands alone. LSCR warehouses, for one, are big enough facilities that can hold hundreds and thousands of perishable and non-perishable products. Operating warehouse spaces like this should then require you to implement AI solutions for better decision making, more accurate warehouse operations, and a lot more.
Real-Time Supply Chain Visibility
In 2019, supply chain visibility (SCV) was no longer an option, but rather a necessity. However, this 2020, it needs to take another step forward – becoming real-time. Real-time data is becoming more in demand than it ever was. This only means that the logistics and supply chain industry need to prioritize and implement cutting-edge solutions into everyday operations.
With real-time SCVs, companies can now provide quick responses and alternative solutions to changes brought about by weather conditions, traffic patterns, customer demands, seasons, and other situations. Logistics businesses that use fully-integrated real-time SCV technology are proven to increase over 20% more efficiency than those without integration.
Since its debut in 2008, blockchain has grown into one of the biggest tech trends in many industries worldwide. Many individuals find it hard to grasp blockchain’s complicated nature, hence its lack and delay of real development.
However, this year, and in the years to come, the logistics industry expects blockchain to pilot small-scale projects and operations. Since blockchain promotes stored and shared documents, everyone should have access to the same ledger of transactions, allowing complete transparency. In turn, it becomes impossible for hijackers to chop down and trick the system.
VR And AR Integration
User experience will undergo significant shifts in the next few years. The integration of both virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) will elevate immersive applications beyond individuality.
Supply chain leaders and employees can use VR and AR to save time, improve safety, and eliminate risks and accidents, making all mundane tasks a whole lot easier. For example, warehouse workers can use AR to visualize correct equipment placing and fitting while comparing defined spaces for configuration options. Also, voice assistants can remotely check product features, appointments, stock, inventory, etc.
Digital Supply Chain Twin
Digital twins are digital representations of real-world entities of supply chain systems. It is composed of all entities one can find in an end-to-end supply chain, namely: products, customers, markets, warehouse facilities, plants, budget and finance, weather, and a lot more.
Many businesses in the supply chain sector can use this to their advantage. Digital supply chain twins significantly help in decision-making, from strategic down to executions. Accurate predictive and prescriptive analysis will also be applied to help arrive in more definite decisions and solutions.
Robots, drones, and other autonomous things enable better business operations. These are often composed of warehouse robots carrying out human labor or jobs in a coordinated manner. As a result, it creates seamless processes, lessening risks and accidents, improving safety, efficiency, and productivity.
While businesses reduce labor work when it comes to challenging warehouse operations, they can still use this to their advantage as employees are expected to carry out more important tasks that involve critical thinking and decision-making.
Technology advances at such an exponential rate these days. Thus, expect that both technology and digitization will continue to shape the future of the supply chain and logistics landscape this year, and in the years to come, modernizing every operation and transforming the way products travel globally.
Angelo Castelda works as a contributor for a news magazine in Asia. On his free days, he likes to read books about the logistics industry and warehouse management. He also gets frequently invited to schools and universities to hold talks about the supply chain system and warehouse operations.