Enterprises with optimum supply chains have 15% lower supply chain costs compared to businesses that are not focused on optimization of their supply chains. That means these companies can meet customer expectations by delivering goods when and where they want them whilst at the same time, grow the business profitably and sustainably. For best results, companies that use updated technology and resources can improve their performance and efficiency in the supply network. Here are technologies that businesses should take advantage of to enhance the operations of the supply chain.
The design of the supply chain is critical in ensuring that products flow smoothly between warehouse facilities, manufacturers, and customers. To this end, it is vital to reduce manual operations that could lead to human errors costing the company money. In addition, expensive labour costs can be eliminated and increase warehouse functionality. Designing smart systems that use robotic automation is one solution to optimise the supply chain network.
Through autonomous robots and similar devices, the supply chain gets better, thereby, helping businesses reduce long-term costs. Reliance on manual labour is decreased because robots provide a stable source of labour. Hence, it is expected that productivity will look up whilst cutting error rates and frequency of inventory checks. Furthermore, picking, sorting, and storing activities are also expected to improve on top of better access to dangerous or difficult locations. Thus, robots also assist in shrinking rates of employee injuries and at the same time, raise efficiency as they work alongside with human personnel.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Machine learning and AI in the supply chain are extremely valuable because of the ability to access valuable data that are otherwise difficult to consolidate, filter, and extract. Machine learning algorithms, however, can do these tasks better and faster than humans. AI can determine patterns, identify gaps in the supply chain, and even provide very accurate forecasts for the business.
AI software when used in supply chain and logistics enhance the overall performance because of the highly accurate predictive actions that must be taken to correct flaws in the supply chain network. Moreover, AI can also help players make informed decisions given various scenarios taking into account time, revenue, and cost.
Autonomous vehicles have been making the news for some time now. Although they are not expected to become mainstream in the next 5 years due to constraints and bottlenecks, self-driving vehicles can become a game changer in the supply chain. Driverless vehicles can significantly improve logistics by reducing costs and delays. Distribution and production centers are going to benefit from a speedy and efficient logistics.
To further enhance the performance of the supply chain, warehouse, production, and distribution centres can be set up in areas where motorways and human labour are readily accessible. Autonomous vehicles are also going to relieve the scarcity of drivers, improve sustainability, and reduce accidents and injuries. To illustrate, driver shortage is not only a phenomenon that affects the UK where there are 60,000 driver positions that need to be filled up. In other countries such as the United States, there is a shortage of lorry drivers since years. AVs can help ease the burden of labour shortage whilst ensuring that there is no interruption to the supply chain.
Technology plays a focal role in enabling businesses to speed up processes and remove barriers in the supply chain network. An optimised supply chain offers many benefits such as reduced costs, higher productivity, and enhanced customer satisfaction.