Supply chains are currently undergoing a rapid development from Insight to Foresight, and after careful steps we are now reaching a tipping point. The increase in accessibility in recent years has caused a shift in supply chains.
Productivity, reliability and quality are still leading in the management of supply chains. The critical function has only increased due to the increasing unpredictability of the market. Digitization will ensure that more is possible. From Insight to Foresight.
New developments in the field of web interaction, such as with Bots, ensure that customers can find your products faster and easier. The algorithms already ensure that the most important defects in supply chains have been remedied. Web analysis algorithms can also better track what your customer sees, which pages and duration. This information can be used to get even more out of your web traffic than before, without the need for expensive coding of websites.
Machine learning is a technique in which a computer can be “taught” certain tasks using Artificial Intelligence. This could be, for example, recognizing certain invoices that were normally considered exceptional. But also take over picking tasks in the warehouse, for example. Or recognizing defective products.
Currently there are more and better solutions that are also available to SMEs. Many startups, often with support from Asian countries, offer these services.
One of the striking developments is the possibilities in the field of 3D printing. Nowadays major steps have been taken so that this technology can contribute to ‘printing’ parts, for example. It also offers companies the opportunity to speed up their product development process. Full integration of cad scan and 3D printing. Robotics will increasingly take over smaller tasks. From product picking, sorting functions, compiling packages. The intelligence behind robotics in combination with a state of the art WMS will ensure that more and more warehouses are moving towards 100% automation and robotization. Augmented and virtual reality will further contribute to this. Processes can be further streamlined and lead to strategic product improvements.
Supply chain, planning and sourcing
Organizations within their supply chains are still looking for ways to gain more insight into Sourcing, production and optimal distribution. ERP systems offer opportunities to monitor and predict market developments. However, if one is confronted with different systems in a supply chain, outdated information quickly develops and thus effects. Blockchain can play a major role in this by uniting databases across organizations. It is already being used to improve food safety and more efficient tracking of international shipments.
AI will prove its worth in many areas. From the intelligent analysis of consumer behavior, applying chatbots to optimizing stock management. AI is also used to detect production errors that previously remained hidden. Visual recognition techniques are able to detect errors in the production process of organizations.
Real-time global connectivity enables supply chain professionals to gather information faster than through traditional supply chain. The digital communication tools, combined with AI, will ensure that customer demand can be responded to even faster. Instead of hierarchical lines, professionals will work more and more horizontally throughout the supply chain. This not only concerns changes in demand forecast, but also a direct connection with transport and warehousing.
In addition, cooperation between transporters using blockchain technology can greatly reduce the number of kilometers driven empty. Another development is that supply chains can become shorter. From manufacturer directly to customer, with supply chain towers playing a coordinating role. Information will be exchanged via portals, which means that much can be skipped or integrated between the underlying links. This will further reduce the supply chain costs within the chain.
Invest in technology and solutions that offer sufficient development opportunities so that you can continue to grow, not only today, when it comes to improving your efficiency. Make sure that you clearly know what your challenges are for the coming years and that is why you are looking for the right technology. So not technology for technology. Also look carefully which partner can help you well in the coming years.