A new article in Harvard Business Review has been generating some automation-related controversy in the Supply Chain Community, as well as lots of buzz and interesting conversation. Naturally, we want to weigh in and the end of Supply Chain Management.
Although additive manufacturing and 3D Printing for both plastic and metal materials has been around for years, the investment, developments, breadth of applications, adoption rate, and beneficial case studies are expanding at an extremely rapid rate.
New processes, materials, devices, design applications, are emerging every day. Now, there are cloud sites that store portfolios of designs, much like Pandora does for music. All of this is creating an amazing amount of opportunity creating more efficient supply chains, new product types, de-centralized manufacturing schemes, and easier approaches to mass-customization.
The phrase “Supply Chain Management” was first coined in 1982. The idea of a “Blockchain” was conceived in 2008 although the concept of a chain of blocks began as early as 1991, and use of the word Blockchain itself has only become popular in the last few years.
Blockchain has rapidly become a very widely used term, at first intended to describe the enabling technology platform behind Bitcoin. However as awareness and knowledge of the technology has been increasingly understood the words Blockchain and Supply Chain are more often used together.
As people become more familiar with Blockchain, and consider it’s applicability in their strategic Supply Chain plans, we thought it important to clarify how Blockchain and Supply Chain are different yet mutually supportive.
We all know how important cybersecurity is now that technology powers commerce in such a significant way. But if you perform work as part of a supply chain, you know that the stakes are especially high with cyber security the weakest link.
Given that you’re part of a network of providers, vendors, transporters and managers, the impact of the weakest link in the supply chain cybersecurity “chain of custody” can be significant.
When you think of Artificial Intelligence, or AI, you might think of freaky, futuristic robots. However as Fuel Fighter has found in its recent research AI is far more helpful than this futuristic, obscure and seemingly distant perception suggests. Artificial Intelligence in Energy Management is quickly becoming a part of our Energy industries, helping to develop more efficient and safe energy production techniques.
No matter how big or small your operation and your company is you likely have the same disruptive pressures on your Warehouses and Distribution Centres.
Everyone, including those who are best in class, has the need to reduce costs, improve the speed and accuracy of order fulfillment and warehouse activities, optimize inventory, and provide sufficient capacity to support growth at your busiest times of the year.
The ability to leverage technology to help address those pressures is no longer just possible for large companies. The nature of the technology landscape brings those improvements within the reach of most everyone.
When it comes to the modern supply chain managers have a relatively new risk to consider: Cyber Security!
As major logistics providers from all around the world struggle with keeping their private data secure, businesses are investing time and resources to address this serious concern. From shutting down major ports to the risk of losing private client data, the time is now to address Cyber Security in the supply chain.
Typically, as evidenced by the home automation industry’s active use of voice recognition for the consumer space, the consumer application of technologies, like virtual reality or augmented reality, leads towards logistics artificial intelligence applications in logistics and supply chain, which includes the use of voice recognition.
No less exciting than space travel or driverless cars is the rapid development of natural voice recognition technology. Automated call center and foundational smartphone software that can follow verbal instructions has already come to pass.
However, recent developments in this space promise to revolutionize the shipping and logistics industries too, making times in transit faster and the entire process of moving and shipping products more flexible.
The evolution of the Digital Supply Chain, the broad concept that cloud-based systems, analytics and monitoring of goods, vehicles and other assets via the Internet of Things will improve the way supply chains run, is a major concern for many logistics organizations today.
We know its coming, but how many have a clear understanding of the technology and its applications? Similar terms like digitalization or Industry 4.0, digital supply chain management spans multiple technologies and includes its fair share of buzzwords but how will it all work? How will the evolution of the Digital Supply Chain occur?
Over the last 5 years there has been an explosion of smart and connected devices. Gartner is predicting that by 2020 there will be 37 Billion connected devices and more than 4.3 Zetabytes of data generated by these devices. The Internet of Things (IoT) is well upon us!
Quick adoption of health devices like Fitbit and smart thermostats such as Nest are bringing more and more connections and opportunities into the consumer world. As such many home appliance and consumer goods companies are looking at how they can take advantage of this trend and transform their interaction with their consumers and customers.
In order to understand how this is starting to evolve and how it will impact and change the digital supply chain, let us consider 4 user cases that are emerging with early adopters in this space.
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?
We are living in exciting and innovative times with futuristic technology literally at our fingertips to impact business. 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.
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.
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?
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.