Supply Chain 4.0 is driven by improved performance and customer satisfaction. While the success of this is determined by data authenticity and its efficient management, it also depends on the use and adoption of technologies. With changing demographics and the recent online purchase behavior, supply chain needs to deal with a whole new set of problems. To tackle them, the new-age supply chain has embraced digitization. It is noted that companies that integrate digital technologies into their supply chain can quickly improve service levels while cutting costs up to 30%.
Digitization brings down the walls built by the siloed, discrete enterprise processes such as manufacturing, product development, customer relations, and the workplace. Digitized supply chain relies on five major technologies for success. Each technology adds a unique value that binds the core of digitized supply chain — for faster, more agile, flexible, granular, and accurate output. The beauty again lies in the matter that these integrated set of technologies bind to also integrate with these enterprise processes.
Understanding their contribution to supply chain helps you acquire the right infrastructure, build a congenial culture for people, and prepare to coalesce with the external environment, and emerge into an intelligent enterprise.
Here are the technologies you need to accommodate and prepare yourself to own a digital supply chain:
The sheer volume of data demands tight management of different formats and sizes of data. Storage of data is pointless without the ability to analyze this data in real-time. To materialize better analytics, your systems will sit among networks that talk to each other. It compels the organization to grow into a well networked unit, where the siloed processes dissolve into interactive networks.
This leads way to initiate technologies rising from Internet Of Things (IoT). The data coming from IoT can be computed and analyzed at a much faster speed than before.
Internet Of Things
Digitizing supply chain also means bringing in hardware that meets the data needs. This demands sensors everywhere. The cost of installation, embedding and purchase of sensors is falling by each day. This also indicates that single supply chain unit has access to more data streaming form sensors of different types.
Transforming this data into usable insights is what makes a stock keeping unit more profitable with supply chain operations. It’s needed to integrate the power of analytics with the nodes of information that is led by sensors.
Robotic Process Automation
Automation has reduced errors in supply chain to a great extent. Now it is time to automate the artificially intelligent machines. Robot Process Automation (RPA) minimizes process re-engineering while avoiding major system integration projects or specific new major application deployments. Automation of processing the structured data can be delegated to RPA, avoiding errors arising out of manual processes.
AI & Machine Learning
Predictive maintenance and usage-based billing are some critical processes of supply chain that gain traction with machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities. With machine learning combined with predictive analytics you can detect patterns what human analysis cannot predict and recommend.
Delivery truck patterns, optimized routes for on-time service, warehouse maintenance needs, optimized buffer stock positions, and inventory carrying costs are some areas where predictive analysis empowered by machine learning can be leveraged.
With digitization, the challenges of cybersecurity also emerge. Blockchain is a technology that rescues the haphazard nature of ownership in a large enterprise. It helps in not only securing transaction, but also is applied to secure the authenticity of steps involved in information flows. Not just with information, but across all systems and processes blockchain adds transparency. Smart contracts or traceability and authentication of decentralized resources are some blockchain solutions that are easing out supply chain management.
Integrating Technologies for Supply Chain
Thinkers of PwC opine that “Companies that will succeeded in building a truly digital end-to-end supply chain will gain a difficult-to-challenge advantage in the race to Industry 4.0, and be able to set, or at least influence, technical standards for their particular industry. Moreover, the advantage will by no means be limited to the greater efficiencies.”
To enjoy maximum efficiencies of these technologies, you need one platform that can easily integrate and disintegrate to scale in time. SAP S/4HANA is designed to build a digital supply chain and help transform existing organizations into intelligent enterprises.
At Savantis, we are transforming operations for supply chains for different industry leaders helping them gain a competitive advantage in today’s digital economy. We have enabled them to meet the dynamic demands of modern customer while reducing their operational costs and instilling enterprise-wide collaboration for all involved processes. If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with one of our experts and we will be happy to help you.