The 5 Big Benefits of the Digital Supply Chain!

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Benefits of the Digital Supply Chain article originally published at http://veridiansol.com Permission to publish provided by Jason Rosing.

What’s the core difference between today’s supply chain and the digital supply chain?

Look down at your desk. What do you see? If you see paper, pen, and a computer, you see the typical, modern supply chain.   If asked, could you provide the latest information on your current automation, key performance indicators, data, use of IT applications, and finance government?

The chances are good that much of this information is stored digitally. However, you would probably need to look through some of the physical, tactile paperwork to find all of the information.   Also, is the information stored only your computer or a server? Now, how long is that going to take you?

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How AI, Machine Learning and Automation Will Impact Business!

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Impact Business article originally published at tenfold.com Permission to publish provided by Ira Padilla.

We are living in exciting and innovative times with futuristic technology literally at our fingertips. But for the longest time, small to medium sized businesses were not serviced by the latest tech trends enterprises have been able to benefit from. That is, until now.

In this article, we’ll explore these technology trends and how they will impact business in the future.

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5 Seismic Shifts in Supply Chain Technology!

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Seismic shifts article originally published by, and permission to publish here provided by, Lora Cecere.

Supply chain technology is seeing seismic shifts and changing rapidly as new, innovative solution providers leave traditional legacy players behind.  

Tremors. Seismic shifts. In supply chain management technology there is a fault line separating new, innovative technology providers and traditional supply chain software providers, and the gap between them is growing.

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What is Blockchain? And How Does it Work? (Infographic)

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Blockchain!

What is all the fuss about?  It’s a word that was rarely used or even heard of in Supply Chain not that long ago.  But now it is very common to hear about Blockchain.  Further it is often used in the context of being a necessary and integral part of any Digital Supply Chain Strategy.

Most companies do not yet have a Blockchain strategy.  More importantly  most people do not even know what it is.  How can you have a strategy for something if you don’t know what it is?  So, as with anything, let’s start at the beginning.

What exactly is Blockchain?

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Augmented Reality (AR) is Set to Transform Retail and the Supply Chain!

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Augmented reality article, and permission to publish here, provided by http://argentus.com.  

We’ve written a lot about how retail is undergoing some massive changes due to technology. The closure of a number of major American chains, as well as Amazon’s recent move into the grocery space with its acquisition of Whole Foods market, signal an industry in flux as it reckons with the ongoing transformations of the eCommerce revolution.

In the last decade, the thinking held that eCommerce might completely supplant brick and mortar retail. It’s easier to shop online than go to a store. Consumers don’t have to deal with lines, limited retail stock, or temper tantrums from kids – kids of their own, or their linemates.

But brick and mortar has shown surprising resilience, and even eCommerce giants are recognizing the appeal of an Omnichannel approach (emphasizing a mixture of brick and mortar and online shopping).

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You are Connected Everywhere! Why isn’t your Supply Chain Connected?

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Have you ever tried to drive in a blinding snowstorm or when the rain or fog is so thick that you can’t see in front of your car?  It’s not possible!  And it’s risky to even try!

So why is it that the Supply Chain in so many companies is being run without the end to end visibility needed to even function, yet which we have in our personal lives?

In this age of exponential growth in digital connectivity the time has come to ensure you have End to End Supply Chain visibility.  If you carry a Smartphone you can be tracked anywhere.  So why don’t you apply this technology to your Supply Chain?

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Examining Future Industry Innovations!

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Industry Innovations article written for Supply Chain Game Changer by Daniel Lummis at https://www.reefgroup.net.au/

Consumer demand is rising in just about every conceivable industry. Customers want their products better, faster, and stronger; and as they adopt this mantra of “more, more, more”, companies have to keep up. In order to do that, they would have to make some drastic improvements or outright changes in the way they do business – particularly in the supply chain.

Just as advances in Internet-based platforms are improving the way people connect, communicate, and consume, advances in telecommunications, automation, robotics, and information technology are giving industries more power to control, oversee, and optimise their businesses to meet ever-growing demand.

It is no surprise, then, that the latest technologies are the cornerstone of business innovations for the foreseeable future. In this article, we will be taking a look at some of these innovations that are trending among companies and seeing how newer businesses can integrate them into their systems.

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Virtual Reality (VR) is Enhancing E-Commerce Shopping! (Infographic)

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Virtual reality (VR) is something we’ve been hearing a lot about recently, but did you know your shopping experience could be influenced by this in the not too distant future? Or perhaps it already has?

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Collaborative Robots: Making Manufacturing Jobs More Valuable

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Collaborative robots article provided by Tony Giovaniello, President, Economic Development Corporation (EDC) of Shasta County.

First, a “Prime Objective” of the Shasta EDC is job growth in the manufacturing and technology sectors. This is our key focus. However, the recruitment, retention, and expansion of our companies is equally important.

There is obviously a symbiotic relationship between employer and employees. However, from time to time there are talent gaps that emerge and technologies that force us to rethink our approaches to business.

Data shows that the number of manufacturing jobs are declining, and the jobs that remain are shifting to a mixture of the traditional and tribal knowledge around manufacturing and a blend of technical knowledge that helps to augment current manufacturing with the practical application of emerging technologies.

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The Control Tower – Is Yours Real or Smoke and Mirrors?

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The advancement of digital technology enables the real-time, intelligent management of the Supply Chain.  This now means you need a Control Tower.

But any company’s Supply Chain can still involve tens of thousands of skus, thousands of bills of material, thousands of suppliers, hundreds of transportation vendors, dozens of manufacturing facilities and distribution centres, and numerous customers.

So even if you have a Digital Supply Chain how do you manage this complexity?  The answer is that you need a Control Tower!

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Rise of the Warehouse Robots!

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Warehouse robots article provided by Mike Futch of Tompkins International at https://www.tompkinsinc.com/en-us/ 

Customer expectations are changing as new sales outlets are being used. With the application of social media, omni-channel and e-commerce customers now have more price options, selections, delivery methods and shopping experiences. The ability of a business to keep the customer satisfied greatly depends on fulfillment capabilities.

Progressive businesses have realized the critical nature an operations strategy has on designing a working supply chain. Combining distribution and fulfillment operations into a single facility has become the base of the supply chain network, as they allow a single location to stock a vast number of products and service multiple channels.

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4 Pitfalls to Avoid When Selecting Supply Chain Technology!

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Supply Chain technology article originally published by, and permission to publish here provided by, Jason Rosing and Veridian .

There are thousands of supply chain technology vendors in the market today, and many companies claim their system is the best-of-the-best.

How do you truly know which systems are the best, and what can you do to ensure the selected supply chain technology does not become a money pit for your organization?

The answers to these questions lie in understanding the top pitfalls to avoid when selecting systems and new technologies for use in your organization.

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How Artificial Intelligence (AI) Will Change Decision Making!

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) article originally published at https://www.tenfold.com . Permission to publish provided by Abigail Rabi.

From The Terminator to Blade Runner, pop culture has always leaned towards a chilling depiction of artificial intelligence (AI) and our future with AI at the helm. Recent headlines about Facebook panicking because their AI bots developed a language of their own have us hitting the alarm button once again. Should we really feel unsettled with an AI future?

News flash: that future is here. If you ask Siri, the helpful assistant who magically lives inside your phone, to read text messages and emails to you, find the nearest pizza place or call your mother for you, then you’ve made AI a part of your everyday life. Even current weather forecasting systems, spam filtering programs, and Google’s search engine – among so many other practical applications – are AI-powered. Now, artificial intelligence doesn’t seem that alarming, right?

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AI + Data = Supply Chain Risk Management!

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I feel you.

I was there.

In the exact same position, you’re in now.

A cynic. A skeptic. A person, utterly exhausted with seeing those two letters: AI.

As we see from Deloitte’s CPO Survey in 2018, AI is only fully deployed in 2% of procurement organizations and is far from making any real impact at scale within the digital ecosystems procurement teams are so eagerly trying to build. To top it off, there’s only 27% percent of procurement leaders considering AI/Cognitive technology, and 55% who haven’t considered it at all.

Cut to 2019, Deloitte published its newest CPO Survey where they found that 81% of chief procurement officers with fully implemented solutions in the space of Supply Chain Risk & Compliance Management aren’t satisfied with their solutions.

81%.

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How AI and the IoT Can Change Transportation Management!

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Transportation management article originally published by, and permission to publish here provided by, Adam Robinson on  https://cerasis.com. 

Analysts predict that by 2020, 75% of new cars will feature IoT connectivity. The percentage increase describes consumer applications, but the idea of connected vehicles should garner interest from other sectors such as shipping, logistics, and transportation.

Leaders in these industries would be wise to plan for a future where AI and the IoT transform transportation management.

Here are five possible applications to consider.

 

 

1. Streamline Decision-Making

Artificial Intelligence

David Poulsen, CutCableToday’s IT expert, says connected, or autonomous, vehicles, are attractive because of the technologies that undergird them. “The Internet of Things (IoT) is one part of the equation,” Poulsen explains. “The other part is artificial intelligence (AI). It acts as the driver, helping the connected ‘thing,’ which could be a vehicle or inventory system, make smarter decisions.”

As applied to transportation management, that automated decision-making ability is critical. Connected vehicles, shipments, and systems help with tracking and historical reporting. But real-time insights and responses occur through artificial intelligence.

At TOPBOTS, an online, educational resource for all things AI, writer Mariya Yao calls the process “turning supply chain logistics into automated trading.” She gives an example: Amazon’s ability to deliver packages to a person’s door in under two hours. AI and the IoT streamline the entire process, from order to delivery, to save time and money and meet customer demand.

2. Optimize Operations

DHL, the global logistics provider, posits another application of AI and the IoT optimization. Its 2016 Logistics Trend Radar report suggests that big data and automated supply chains could lead to previously unimaginable levels of optimization.

But that optimization isn’t isolated to a single aspect of transportation management. Rather, DHL predicts a world in which manufacturing, logistics, warehousing, and deliveries become increasingly efficient, productive, and profitable. The provider believes the trend will come to life in the next ten years.

DHL could be correct. General Electric, for example, has started integrating AI into its locomotives to enhance safety and speed. Daniel Malak at Motionloft offers another use for AI and the IoT: optimizing traffic. He says transportation management companies benefit from Motionloft by using it to study traffic patterns and “optimize business practices such as sending out police forces only during peak rush hours, having maintenance crews repair roads that get the most travel, and deploying sanitation crews to clean public areas only when needed.”

 

3. Manage Warehouses

Tim Young of Vero Solutions shares another way AI and the IoT Could transform transportation management in his infographic looking at warehouses. He says AI could impact six areas of operations.

“Productivity levels, inventory processes, and employee wages are just three fields,” explains Young, “that are expected to be revolutionized and improved by AI technology in warehouses in just a matter of years.”

The other three areas relate to effective communication, warehouse operations, and robot workers. Young’s example of robot workers involves a company previously mentioned: Amazon. The brand has been testing out robots in its warehouses to increase productivity and, presumably, quality control.

4. Decrease Downtime and Repairs

Transportation companies also use AI and the IoT to mitigate costly repairs and downtime. Internal diagnostics, for example, can alert users to maintenance issues, which keeps passengers safe — no blow-outs while traveling down the road at seventy miles per hour, for example — and increases the lifetime value of the vehicle.

Daniel Dombach at Zebra further illuminates the concept, adding that the Internet of Things delivers remote monitoring capabilities. Companies that employ them can proactively respond to maintenance issues and also assess inventory records and parts availability.

Dombach also proves a valid point, saying that AI and the IoT could “decrease insurance-related costs.” Business Insider’s The Insurance and the IoT Report finds that insurers use vehicle usage data to inform pricing on policies and premiums. The report covers consumer insurance policies specifically, but its findings easily translate to commercial interests.

5. Go Driverless

AI and the IoT could impact more than back-end systems and processes. The two could produce driverless vehicles, a thing seemingly the territory of tech giant Google. But Google isn’t alone in the endeavor. Tesla, Ford, Daimler, and even Uber all claim driverless initiatives.

George Zarkadakis at Willis Towers Watson calls out the Uber story in his article The Impact of Artificial Intelligence in Transportation, citing the incident as “a wake-up call.” He continues, “Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) could potentially lead to the full automation of truck fleets.”

Of course, Zarkadakis’s remark raises the question of what happens to the truck drivers. Goldman Sachs Economics Research provides an answer. The company tells CNBC that driverless trucks could produce job losses of 25,000 per month in a couple of decades.

Jack Stewart at WIRED offers a more positive perspective; he says traditional driver jobs will change once autonomous vehicles become a reality, but these jobs won’t necessarily disappear. He also adds other positive effects of this change, such as cutting costs and improving road safety.

Conclusion

The Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are coming to transportation management. The technologies provide too many benefits for them to be ignored.

Businesses that wish to succeed in the future should consider these five examples of how the IoT and AI can impact transportation management and then decide where and when to apply these features to their existing operations.

Originally published on Supply Chain Game Changer on November 16, 2017.