“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”
Every industry undergoes changes in their trends and their workings. Let’s see a few of the pressing changes in the supply chain industry
#1: Supply Chains will look to Go Digital
Technology has driven a new wave of productivity by digitizing key financial and business processes and enabling collaboration across the organization. This 2016 supply chain trend will continue as best-in-class organizations leverage business networks to create a digital community of partners executing coordinated processes in a more organized and informed way than in the past.
#2: Responding to Innovation & Change but with an Eye on Fundamentals
The ability to accept innovations and take advantage of the synergy effects of individual movements is a core competence of future-oriented companies. Not losing sight of the essentials while filtering out what is personally important, requires our full attention and continual development. Nevertheless, we reach our limits time and again and need support, e.g. from operations research, which provides us with intelligent decision-making algorithms enabling us to keep up with today’s fast-paced operating environment.
Advances in technologies available to optimize supply chains have made faster implementation times a reality
#3: Augmented Reality
DHL (a famous Logistics company) says AR is the future to SCM and its co- activities
DHL looks at the following ways Augmented Reality will provide benefits to the supply chain as listed:
· Picking Optimization
· Facility Planning
· Freight/Container Loading
· Dynamic Traffic Support
#4: Artificial Intelligence
Huge Investments being made in Artificial Intelligence by many companies including Facebook, Google, Apple, Tesla, and many many more companies. Machine vision and robotics are already in use around us, most notably in industrial applications, including the warehouse, as well as facial recognition systems used by law enforcement.
And further, that advent of Industry 4.0 and Smart Factories all powered by the Internet of Things will make running a supply chain as easy as pushing buttons (of course this all means it was set up correctly!). The use of Artificial Intelligence seems almost endless, but be on the lookout for some serious applications in the supply chain for 2016.
#5: Agile = The New Lean
Agile methodology is an alternative to traditional project management, typically used in software development. It helps teams respond to unpredictability through incremental, iterative work cadences, known as sprints. Agile methodologies are an alternative to waterfall, or traditional sequential development.
#6: Procurement’s New (read Bigger) Role in the Supply Chain
Think purchasing & procurement and often what comes to mind is the struggle or battle to make a supplier give you materials or services for the lowest amount of money possible.
GE is deploying strategies like purchasing small suppliers that provide critical parts or services. None of those strategies work without a strong procurement practice that is integrated with other supply chain processes.
#7: Collaboration Continues to Take Center Stage for Efficient Supply Chain Management
Speaking of supplier collaboration, many companies have taken steps to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their supply chain operations by automating key processes beyond procurement to areas such as with orders, invoicing, and payment. This is with good reason backed by data.