Supply chain,which once constituted of internal systems, has now become an increasingly complex network of people, processes, and technologies.Therefore, planning is thefocal point insupply chain because without a plan, companies are destined to fail.
Supply chains have undergone drastic changes.Proliferation of technologies, computer networks, and internet tools have expandedthe supply chains. The widespread usage of Web 2.0 tools, on-demand software, cloud computing adoption, mobile technologies, and the fast-paced digital revolution have a significant effect on supply chain.
The prominent technologies for supply chain planning and execution are as follows:
Internet of Things for Better Streamlining
Internet of Things (IoT) is set to transform the supply chain industry. According to McKinsey Global Institute study,IoT will have an economic impact between$2.17 trillion and $5.75 trillion by 2025 across factories, retail environments, logistics, and navigation that are the key supply chain areas.
IoT will influence productivity and efficiency improvements in all spheresof predictive maintenance and quality control to warehouse, fleet, and inventory management. Sensor networks, intelligent accounting, and RFID will play a greater role in optimization and planning in all areas. Manufacturers and distribution centers will be able to link their operations with real-life happening in-store and improve their shipments and processes accordingly.
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)
RFID can track each item’s precise location through RFID tag. Tags will make it easy to gather key product and logistics data from the manufacturer through the distribution center.Thereafter, these data can be transferred directly to the retailer’s own ERP and stock management systems.
Staff can take stock of goods using sensors by connecting to the RFID tags.Sensors will track inventory by monitoring weight and height, triggering automatic re-ordering when customized conditions are met. Store managers will be able to make the best use of shelf space based on accurate consumer behavior data supplied by sensors. Retailers benefit from inventory accuracy, improved sales, decreased out-of-stocks, increased margins, and expedited returns.Inspectors can locate mispicks quickly due to RFID tags, and tags can even point out the erroneous box. This information can be fed into warehouse management and ERP systems to streamline everything from receiving and storage to picking, packing, and loading.
The technology reduces reliance on low-cost manufacturing centers overseas, thereby eliminating issues pertaining to lead time and quality.Moreover,companies will nothave to tie up assets or space with inventory. Warehouse requirements will change drastically because new products will be made to order at the point of sale.
Drones for Fast Delivery
Omni-channel retailing has made delivery speed a crucial aspect of sales. On-time delivery has become a mandatory matter;delayed deliveries can destroy the brand image. Drones will make a next-hour delivery service viable. Companies such as Amazon, Google, and Sony are already working in this direction.
Autonomous Logistics Using Driverless Vehicles
Food shopping has already begun delivery via autonomous logistics using driverless vehicles to deliver chilled goods in residential buildings.
Kanban cards help create a demand-driven system; it is a message that indicates exhaustion of products, parts, or inventory. When received, the Kanban triggers replenishment of that product, part, or inventory. Consumption, therefore, drives demand for more production, and the Kanban card signals demand for more products.
In ERP software, there are modules for loading forecast and production plans that are generated via an MPS/MRP system to calculate refill activities based on customer orders, production orders, inventory levels, and various parameter settings.
This technology can help improve field sales and marketing and facilitate direct services to consumers.Information such as origin, item contents, and information about sustainability on demand, or manufacturing methodology improves the reputation of the brand and allows companies to connect directly with the consumer.