February 08, 2024 | Supply Chain Software
Disruptions of recent years have exposed the brittleness of global supply chain networks across industries. As business leaders develop digital transformation strategies for greater resilience and speed, the urgency to modernize core supply chain infrastructure takes center stage.
Global supply chain leaders continue to prioritize investments in resilience and agility over cost efficiency. The current global business scenario calls for next-generation supply chain technology and innovations that can provide real-time visibility, drive process automation, and enable supply ecosystems to proactively navigate external risks and fluctuations.
As businesses accelerate their digital roadmaps to futureproof their supply chains, here are five technologies shaping the landscape:
Supply chain control towers converge and analyze data across the ecosystem – from sub-tier suppliers to logistics partners, all the way through sales channels — providing complete visibility rather than fragmented information pools. To sum up, control towers aggregate data for decisive action. Leaders can rapidly identify stress points whether bottlenecks, shortages or anomalies and take targeted corrective actions. The control tower market can be expected to post significant growth with real-time coordination and SaaS models accelerating information exchange across trading partners.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) bring predictive capabilities across supply chain processes — from anticipating spikes or drops in demand to dynamic inventory optimization, predictive maintenance, shipment routing and more. With most of the market leveraging AI to further business, the AI supply chain market is expected to expand rapidly as business leaders increasingly realize competitive advantages of data-driven, risk-aware planning.
Digital twins have the capability to create exact virtual layouts of warehouses and distribution centers, enabling companies to rethink how their new designs could enhance activity without causing any upheaval to current operations. A digital twin replicates every component of a supply chain — suppliers, machines, products, assets, warehouses and more — in a virtual environment. Simulating operational and risk scenarios provides data-backed recommendations to strategize and optimize agile responses. With large manufacturers increasingly implementing intelligent digital twins, the market is projected to grow exponentially as replicas of real-world supply systems continue to enable resilient planning.
Blockchain establishes trusted networks for authenticating transactions and tracing product journeys across decentralized supply chains. It brings radical transparency as more networks onboard trading partners. To put it in simple words, blockchain has the potential to transform all types of digital transactions, including those involved in procurement and supply chain. A distributed database that holds tamperproof records of digital transactions, blockchain and its associated applications is the transformative force to boost supply chain and source-to-pay process efficiency.
Also Read: Blockchain in Procurement and Supply Chain
Warehouses continue to deploy autonomous mobile robots for inventory replenishment, picking and space optimization — driving dramatic productivity gains. Meanwhile, long-haul autonomous trucking continues advancing as well. As next-generation technologies permeate supply chains, enterprises need to continually assess and deploy solutions that strengthen resilience, visibility, and scalability in line with customer expectations. While modernization necessitates investment, the ROI in supply chain performance improvement and risk mitigation is compelling.
Artificial intelligence is poised to transform global supply chains through its ability to rapidly analyze exponential data volumes, continuously learn patterns and insights, and enable predictive planning capabilities. With the capability to process billions of data points across suppliers, logistics, sales, weather systems, and so on, AI can spot anomalies and risks in near real time. Instead of reactive responses, supply chains can get into preventive mode.
Machine learning algorithms can forecast demand fluctuations, dynamically optimize inventory volumes by location, simulate supply network changes, and reroute shipments to circumvent bottlenecks proactively. Robotic process automation eliminates manual efforts. Combining AI and Internet of Things (IoT) sensors creates intelligent risk management via advanced notifications on machine failures, waste reduction and even preventive maintenance. The ultimate gamechanger is moving from hindsight responses toward data-driven, predictive supply chain ecosystems that can avoid disruptions, maximize efficiency and align operations to customer priorities through continually learning algorithms.
As pioneers reorient operations with the latest supply chain technology trends and innovation with an eye on the future, industrial laggards risk losing competitive advantage if technological innovation is not integral to their strategy. The time for action is now — and GEP stands ready as a transformation catalyst — with the expertise and technology solutions to help enterprises streamline global supply chain operations for the next generation.
As a leading provider of procurement software and supply chain software, GEP helps global enterprises streamline operations, increase profitability and achieve business goals — to futureproof supply chains!