As soon as the pandemic and lockdown pass, and the economy comes back, executives might think they ought to manage their supply chain networks as they had previously. However, when it comes to supply chain disruptions, the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t an isolated event.
Geopolitical turmoil, climate-related disasters and other events are increasing in regularity and scale. These events can devastate supply chain networks that are reliant on low cost and limited inventory.
With the regularity and severity of shocks to supply chains only growing in number, COVID-19 has put a magnifying glass on just how prone many supply chains have become to these shocks. What has passed for desirable agility is now actually risk. Technology tools and trends that support a more resilient supply chain will be adopted by organizations looking to weather the next major shock to the worldwide flow of raw materials and finished goods. Below are just a few tech trends that are expected to support more resilient supply chains
More Online Collaboration
Supply chain applications and collaborative tools that are based in the cloud help to strengthen data sharing, enhancing decision making speed and quality. Cloud-based solutions also provide a space for partners to do business in a secure environment. During the pandemic, manufacturers have asked for more visibility into the supply chains, and this expectation will likely continue moving forward.
Automation and robotics have incorporated visibility to support ease and real-time continuity. Modern warehouse control systems are the on-premises digital systems that receive sensor data from automated systems. These control systems can evaluate the data they receive based on established guidelines and react in real-time to realize key objectives.
Control tower solutions are supply chain industry platforms that blend information across the total supply chain, including relevant external data like weather and traffic. These platforms also use 5G and blockchain technology to provide real-time visibility. Businesses can better adjust supply based on forecast demand by using these tools to contrast production capacity information with real-time signals seen in the control tower.
Company leaders can get out in front of potential supply chain disruptions by increasing their capability to quickly evaluate internal and external information. That means making use of machine learning and artificial intelligence for analytics insights. Machine learning is particularly helpful for large, dynamic information sets where the connection between the dependent and independent variables is fluid. Copious amounts of information are more common than ever in the modern supply chain, thanks to computing advancements and digital edge technology.
These tools can enable early-warning systems, model risk situations and establish preprogrammed reactions. Heightened risk of disruption also calls for updated planning guidelines and objectives due to the fact that the old suppositions are increasingly irrelevant.
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