October 18, 2019 | Supply Chain Software Blogs
Today’s supply chain needs to be flexible and agile, capable of responding quickly and positively to sudden changes — and that cannot be achieved through piecemeal supply chain management software and tools deployed at different times to manage different processes. The need is for a unified end-to-end SCM software that integrates processes, automates repetitive tasks and analyzes large volumes of data — both structured and unstructured — to make accurate forecasts and offer innovative solutions.
The next-gen, data-driven digital supply chain must be empowered with new technologies that enable it to serve not as a tactical function but as a strategic partner that gives businesses a competitive advantage. The best supply chain software solutions will employ technologies and tools that tap into and support huge, growing volumes of data and turn them into actionable insights.
New Technology Trends that are Redefining Supply Chain Software
Unified Platform: Your supply chain must become a unified entity that can handle complex processes and respond to fast-changing markets and needs. The best way to achieve this is to deploy an integrated supply chain management solution that brings everything under one umbrella — helping standardize and automate processes, streamline workflows, interpret data from multiple sources, provide process visibility and real-time updates, and facilitate automation.
Cloud: To truly transform the supply chain, the unified platform must leverage the potential of emerging technologies and to do so, it must be cloud-based. Cloud-native software can be accessed remotely from any device, anywhere, anytime, enhancing flexibility, collaborations and real-time visibility. A cloud supply chain management platform is more cost-effective as it does not require steep capex investments, gives businesses scalability as well as access to the latest software, all without having to concern themselves with security and maintenance.
Artificial Intelligence-Enabled: The digital supply chain produces oceans of data, but unless this data can be processed, it’s of no use. That’s where AI comes in — it can analyze the data and offer critical insights. Along with its two arms, Machine Learning (ML) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA), AI-powered supply chain software can harness the power of intelligent automation, leading to greater efficiency and accuracy, increased speed and productivity, fewer errors, and lower operational costs. AI, ML and RPA can be used to streamline inventory and warehouse management, improve demand forecasting through advanced analytics tools and enhance customer care, among other things.
Internet of Things: IoT, a network of physical devices that use sensors to connect to the internet and exchange data, creates unparalleled visibility and makes monitoring easier across the entire supply chain — from asset tracking to logistics updates to regulating product storage temperature to optimizing warehouse space, and more. It can be used to gather real-time data and mitigate some of the risks and uncertainties faced by a complex, global supply chain. IoT, however, will only be as good as the supply chain management tools and technologies used to analyze and interpret the transmitted data.
Blockchain: The supply chain is a complex creature and stands to gain immensely from this distributed ledger technology, which can be used to trace and track any sort of transaction or data. By making transactions transparent and traceable, blockchain can improve coordination, reduce friction and conflicts, eliminate data manipulation, and increase accountability of all parties involved. Here, businesses must look for supply chain management vendors who incorporate blockchain technology into their platforms rather than implement the technology themselves.