4 Innovations in Supply Chain Management
Many business’ supply chains have had a tough year. One positive outcome of this is that the innovation that was happening in that area has accelerated. Today, there are several technologies that are improving the way businesses can track all the goods that makes their business possible. Let’s take a brief look at four of them.
The permanent nature of the blockchain is what has allowed developers to create tools that work really well for supply chain management. Blockchain can improve reliability of the information and it is inherently more transparent for authorized parties. Being a new technology, all the ways that blockchain can improve supply chain management may not be known, but what is known is that industries that deal with a lot of counterfeit products can use blockchain technology to ensure that their customers are getting the authentic products that their customers depend on.
The main draw is the ability for a blockchain-run solution to handle the level of information that some industries need to ensure that their supply chain is running effectively. The built-in security, transparency, and reliability of the software makes it a perfect option for most businesses. Additionally, blockchain allows for the use of smart technology.
Smart tech has really developed into a useful tool. Geo-location, shipment tagging, and other technologies are beginning to become commonplace when dealing with shipping companies. Production is sometimes a balancing act for smaller companies and the downtime that ensues when components aren’t delivered on time.
The use of RFID eliminates blind spots in the supply chain, keeping tabs on every product, where they happen to be at a given time, and how to move them efficiently and effectively. With everything continually being tracked, and by reliable tools nonetheless, businesses can schedule their resources to get the most productivity out of them (and the least waste).
Using those real-time tracking sensors, lots of data is generated about every element of a shipment. This provides an opportunity to sort through this data to try to find the best way to forge ahead. The problem is, of course, sorting through the data. If you take an analog approach, it would be impossible. If you were to take an algorithmic approach, you would have a better chance, but today those algorithms can be used by artificial intelligence programs to supercharge your analysis efforts.
The use of AI provides the opportunity to track and share information without human interaction. This added efficiency can pay great dividends over time. AI can be leveraged for several processes including fleet optimization for businesses that have fleets of vehicles and rely on efficiency to keep transportation costs down.
Shared Economy Resources
One major innovation in supply chains is the presence of on-demand warehouse solutions. Today, technologically savvy companies that may need resources can rent them through an outsourced provider. These affordable solutions aim to address common pain points of not having the space to keep inventory at certain times. Today, there are online-based companies that connect distributors with vendors that need this overrun space. Basically, using technology your company can rent warehouse space from another company in your area so as to not impede the successful distribution of goods. The same concept that has made Uber and Airbnb massive success stories is now being used to help manufacturers and retail organizations deal with their surplus supply.
The new economy is going to be run by applications fueled by some of today’s most innovative solutions. If your business could benefit from exploring new technologies to integrate into your business contact the IT professionals at First Column IT today at 703-880-6683.