The supply chain is the cornerstone of commerce and business. Each process included within the supply chain needs to work seamlessly for commodities to be produced and distributed efficiently, and in 2019, new technology will help improve this further.
The supply chain is an ever-evolving creature with continual improvement and innovation shaping its face every day; every minute. Some of the most significant changes in the supply chain stem from technology shifting the way in which something is done, and we have highlighted some of our biggest changes in tech and supply chains for the coming year.
Read on to find out about how these technological changes are impacting on the supply chain for your year ahead.
It’s likely that you have at least heard the term big data before – in a nutshell, big data refers to the proliferation of information available thanks to the internet and tracking. When you have big data, you can discern trends and highlight problem areas and opportunities far more easily than with a small sample size. What this means for your supply chain is that you have the ability to leverage data sets from places like Facebook and online marketplaces to find out information about purchasing habits, customer sentiments, customer behaviours and more.
- Data collected on customers can be used to optimise deliveries and manage production rates to meet predicted demands
- Predictions can be made about future purchasing
- Optimise processes and predict future trends
- Mitigate issues before they become a problem with big data insights
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
There is a lot of change taking place in the way of AI and automation; machines in warehouses are being upgraded with AI and providing greater automation capacity. The consequence of this is that fewer workers are required to perform manual tasks, and greater consistency of performance is seen. While full automation from AI is yet to be seen – with things like driverless trucks and cars and fully automated production and warehouses – you can be certain of seeing more AI implementation across the board in supply chains around the world as the year goes on.
- AI allows for greater automation of your supply chain, with much to be seen in terms of development and performance
- AI will play a role in streamlining automated tasks and repetitive tasks
Geolocation and Blockchain
So much of your supply chain is concerned with knowing exactly what is where when, and how long things are taking to be delivered. Now with technological updates moving forward in the world of location and tracking, it’s possible to micro-track parts and good and provider greater service updates and information.
- Track parcels and pallets and determine provenance
- Provide real-time tracking for users and suppliers
- Manage deliveries and performance using blockchain and geolocation
While we mentioned AI above, this section is devoted more to the use of automation in taking over tasks that are difficult or dangerous for human workers to complete. With computer systems becoming more sophisticated, it’s possible for companies to implement smart warehouses where much of the work is done by robots! Automation through robots not only means that your workplace is operating smoothly and with greater synchronicity. That said, there’s still a way to go before automation reaches the levels written about in sci-fi novels and in films.
- Delivery with drones and fully-automated warehouses are just a couple of the advances we can expect to see in the future
- Automation ensures greater safety and reliability in your delivery and supply chain
What are some other automation and technology changes you have seen in the supply chain area for your industry? At Specialised Logistics Australia, we are always looking to the future, while at the same time ensuring that the present day is running smoothly and with the end user in mind.