Almost every industry is directly or indirectly dependent on the efficacy of supply chain and logistics for enhanced performance. Given this dependence, the development or advancement in supply chain
has a cascading effect on the complete value chain from production to delivery in every sector. With time, we are seeing more and more executive level employees expressing concerns over the need to reduce costs and derive not just short term return over investment but the ROI in the longer run. In order to achieve that, they must inculcate a dynamic culture in the organization in terms of adapting to the change and embracing new technological advancements by being more upbeat about them.
One of the first steps towards this journey is digital transformation of supply chains which is being approached aggressively by organizations across sectors. In a bid to keep abreast of the latest trends in supply chain, organizations are making extra effort not to be left behind in terms of harnessing potential ways of improving efficiency. An evident disruption that is applicable to supply chain can be seen in the form of advanced analytics, machine learning and AI that are bringing attributes of automation and self-learning in supply chain. If implemented correctly, these technologies can transform supply chain management in an unimaginable manner.
“As multinational companies seek to relocate their global supply chains, emerging economies— including Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and India—are increasingly seen as attractive sourcing
destinations,” says Neeraj Bansal, Partner and COO - India Global; National Leader - Supply Chain Re-alignment, KPMG India.
AI can prove to be beneficial in analysing huge data sets and throwing up a report that can paint a clear picture of the trends that are driving the demand and are going to influence procurement. AI can work in sync with the hardware and enable companies to ensure effective usage of the same. One of the important use cases is in the aftermarket industry wherein it comes in handy is how machine learning can be applied in the aftermarket industry wherein sensors on the machines can detect patterns and can pre-empt the resolution that is needed for a part that is likely to break.
In an omni-channel era, supply chain chain must be capable of responding to the demand quickly. Robotics has proven its efficacy in bringing about this change and numerous supply chain companies are resorting to it to expedite their labour-intensive tasks. Robots are going to be especially helpful in warehouses for undertaking the tasks such as sorting, counting, fetching and carrying products.
The move towards agility
Along with the move towards omni-channel capability, what is propelling the transformation of supply chain management is the agility being introduced in it. The trend of shifting the approach from off-shore manufacturing to local supply is reshaping the supply chain market with an aim of reducing the delivery time and shipping costs. Such developments are being possible through new technology that are acting as enablers for the same like 3D printing which is making it possible to manufacture anytime anywhere.
When it comes to visibility and transparency, IoT is creating a whole new paradigm through which the same is being enabled. Real-time visibility and decision-support are some game-changing outcomes being derived by integrating the execution strategy across sales, procurement, manufacturing and logistics. With increasing adoption of IoT, we are seeing supply chain being handled in a more effective manner with better visibility into production, inventory management and predictive maintenance.
As a multitude of use cases for new technologies keep adding up in the supply chain management segment, the disruption in the sector is evident and is expected to continue.