A new strategy amongst supply chain organisations will emerge in 2022 as the aftershock of the historic supply chain disruptions of 2020 and 2021 settle – and that’s to intensify digital migrations with the goal of creating an elastic supply chain.
An elastic supply chain is one that can bend and move alongside disruptions that cannot be controlled – much like workforce shortages, COVID-19, or ships being stuck in the Suez Canal – or guarding against controllable disruptions, like security breaches.
The supply chain as it stands has many challenges to mitigate and turning to a digital transformation can help create a more agile, resilient, and sustainable workforce.
The IDC forecasts in its “Worldwide Supply Chain 2022 Predictions” that by the end of this year, half of those manufacturing supply chains that adopted digital approaches for supply chain resiliency will see benefits, with a 10 percent reduction in disruption impact.
A 10 percent reduction to disruptions for supply chains could have a major financial significance. It’s estimated that supply chain disruptions cost organisations an average of $184 million per year, with the U.S. boasting the highest impact at $228 million per year.
Workforce shortages are not unique to the supply chain, but the impacts can have a significant ripple effect from the manufacturing floor out to fleet delivery.
The IDC predicts that by the end of 2022 workforce shortages will drive 75 percent of supply chain organisations to prioritise automation investments, which will result in a 10 percent uptick in productivity.
Properly forecasting supply and demand has always been a challenge in the supply chain industry and utilising next-generation technology holds promise in tackling this issue. According to the IDC, by 2023, 50 percent of all supply chain forecasts will be automated through artificial intelligence, which will boost accuracy by 5 percent.
The IDC predicts that sustainability will play a role in the coming years within the supply chain industry in an attempt to boost profitability. By 2024, the report states, 70 percent of manufacturers in global supply chains will invest in software tools to support sustainability and circular economy business models.
Circular economy is a large emerging trend in supply chains, which is an economic model based on the re-use of materials in order to limit waste. Sustainability can be upheld in many other ways – whether it’s better maintenance and optimisation of machines, more predictive modeling and forecasting, or having less guesswork in shipping and receiving.
The Internet of Things (IoT) connects devices to the internet for a host of benefits, generally, making data-driven decisions that mitigate common industry challenges, like those addressed above. Leveraging sensors that connect devices across the supply chain, IoT for logistics can drive the following benefits:
Forecasting demand and inventory control: With sensors that monitor inventory positions and stock levels, the supply chain flow can be more optimise with more data-based, informed decision making. With the IDC predicting a heavier use of artificial intelligence in supply chain forecasting, IoT is the groundwork that will drive optimised artificial intelligence. Feeding data into an AI algorithm requires quality data that can derived from an effective IoT infrastructure.
Contingency planning: Interruptions in the supply chain are going to happen but having data at hand can help mitigate challenges with a comprehensive and agile contingency plan. This elasticity that allows for movement with interruptions, not against, provides a nimbler approach to supply chain management.
Automation: Specifically related to warehouse activities, automation can help cut down on costs, lessen the need for workforce, and guard against errors. Automation is powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence that will require quality data that is consistent and accurate.
KORE Assets provides an IoT-driven approach to a digital, elastic supply chain. KORE assets can help reduce losses, mitigate gaps in visibility, and increase efficiency by offering the technology services and solutions needed to implement robust systems for container identification, global location information, cargo monitoring and feedback, and security alerts.
Learn more about how to digitally transform logistics and supply chain management in our upcoming webinar with Tech Alpharetta.
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