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The Digital Age Ushers in a New Era of Supply Chain Management

Supply chain management as we know it is going through some significant changes. The digital age is fast upon us and it’s becoming a major disruptor for those within the supply chain industry.

Gone are the days of employing a supply chain network with a 50 year lifespan. Industry leaders will need to be prepared for a more fluid and continuously evolving network in order to appease the masses. Consumers want near-instantaneous service with more data and business transparency.

In order for companies to meet these increasing demands, they’ll need to work with the tools provided by technological innovation. Here are a few things companies can do to embrace the digital age.

Adapt to the Internet of Things (IoT)

For most companies, not using the IoT will only lead to trouble as your competition takes full advantage of its technological capabilities. The IoT allows you to connect devices throughout your warehouse and workplace, thus creating a more interconnected environment. It also allows for more transparency in customers and locations.

Not to mention that it will allow you to control the warehouse or factory environment and execute decisions in real-time. Sensor-embedded equipment is just one of the tools that the IoT can provide and it often leads to improved workflow and optimizes overall performance.

Cloud-Based Computing

The supply chain industry is just barely scratching the surface of cloud-based computing. But it’s significance in the future of supply chain management is undeniable. The cloud is used on a daily basis by people all around the world, whether they know it or not.

Photos, videos, and documents are just a few things that are being shared and downloaded at any moment of the day and it’s likely going through the cloud. Companies are thirsty for more customer information and a lot of that will come from big data, which is often collected on the cloud. According to market research firm, IDC, 43% of companies within the supply chain industry are moving to the cloud.

Understanding New Delivery Methods

With new technology comes new ways to deliver packages and shipments to consumers. Today, companies are using drones and even 3-D printing as a delivery method. These advancements in delivery methods go hand-in-hand with increasing productivity and becoming a profitable supply chain. Amazon, for example, has already tested drone delivery, and while it’s still not perfected, it’s going to have a major impact on companies looking to save time and money on deliveries.

Supply chain management is changing, the question is are you changing along with it? If you aren’t adapting to this new digital age then it’s possible you’ll lose the race to innovate your management processes. The next step in order to assure your relevance within the industry is to start understanding these new innovations in supply chain management and taking full advantage of their capabilities.