One of the most important business areas in any industrial facility is, of course, the supply chain. This is the point of operations that not only determine distribution efficiency but also the quality of the product a customer buys. Supply chain management is a key component of productivity and this has necessitated a paradigm shift in the way it is done. One of the most significant changes is the adoption of modern technology to enhance efficiency and accountability in the entire supply chain.
Computerized chain management has revolutionized modern business by allowing for better visibility and tracking. The technology allows for real-time monitoring of the entire chain including shipping and invoicing. The dynamism in technology products including smartphones, GPS devices, and tablets among others has also seen a steady rise in portable supply chain technology which is invaluable in monitoring the supply chain using wireless technology.
The key take away from this revolutionary technology is, of course, the flexibility it offers logistical managers in tracking and monitoring the entire chain. Supply managers can now make adjustments on the fly which averts disruptions in the supply chain. This in enhances customer satisfaction.
Global brands such as The John Deere Company are leveraging logistic management software to improve productivity in the supply chain. Others like Nike, in collaboration with DHL Supply Chain, are leveraging this technology to enable real-time monitoring of the warehousing and distribution process. In simple speak, integrating technology in supply chain management ensures:
- Reduction in operational costs
- Improved efficiency through reduction of errors
- Greater customer satisfaction on the other end.
To appreciate the need for supply chain management (SCM) technologies, consider some practical innovations that have been adopted by industry leaders:
- Radio Technology
One of the greatest headaches for any supply chain manager is the increase in anomalies when an order is in transit. This not only leads to losses but eventually also has a negative impact on a brand. If a product is lost during transit, the supplier bears all the costs and moreover, they have to bear with the ensuing cost of disruption. By adoption of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, a company can effectively monitor every product both at the production line and in the supply line. RFID chips are placed on all items which helps employees to quickly detect any anomalies in an order. It is an innovative way of correcting a problem before it ruins the entire supply chain.
- Advanced Weighing Technology
One of the greatest encumbrances in the supply chain is in the weighing process. Outdated truck scales are still used in most industrial facilities which greatly compromise efficiency. Luckily, modern technology includes the ingenious on-board truck scales.These allow for seamless operations when access to platform scales is not available. The scales measure payload weight and the truck’s gross weight. They enhance productivity by ensuring a truck carries the maximum weight right from the point of loading while also saving time and money. The on-board truck scales have also been adopted as a safety guarantee to ensure operators within a warehouse for instance only carry the allowed weight on their lifts.
- Social Media Revolution
There are over 1.3 billion Facebook monthly active users (MAUs) and about 320 million MAUs. With such numbers, it makes more sense for modern businesses to leverage the power of social media to optimize their supply chain operations. It is an ingenious way to open more channels and remain in touch in real-time with all stakeholders in the supply chain. It is easy to respond to questions, report in real-time about incidences in the supply chain, report price changes, and also enhance visibility of the company.
- Transport Management Software
Computerized supplies management is the future of the business. The use of computerized shipping and tracking systems helps to integrate all operations from one panel. Moreover, it is now possible to have such a panel in your mobile device meaning you can organize your inventory data, manage shipping, monitor distribution and create an electronic bill of landing, all in the comfort of your office or while on the go. This enhances customer experience and reduces errors in the entire process.
- Data Analytics
The 21st century has aptly been labeled the information age and this is because of the amount of data readily available. Every new tool is generating copious volumes of data that is driving intelligence which the supply chain management can use effectively. Think of all sources of data from RFID, customer surveys, CRM transactions and call center logs and you appreciate that supplies management will soon be driven by big data just like the modern stock exchange market.
The whole idea of adopting technology in supplies management is to simplify the process, thus eliminating redundancy. By allowing a seamless process, modern technology will not only help reduce costs but also minimize the risks imminent in the supply chain. This is an innovative way to stay ahead of the competition by enhancing customer satisfaction and improving efficiency.