3 key ways to innovate supply chain management

Supply chain managers at the cusp of the coming fifth industrial revolution today face old questions with fresh answers: Which technologies are viable for my company? How can I use data more intelligently? How can I validate the market information I have on hand?

1. Maximizing the Bottom Dollar with Technology

There exists a discipline-wide expectation gap between what corporate executives think their supply chains need and what supply chain managers think they need. A 2017 report by the Hackett Group found that despite more than halving budget growth and procurement staffing on average at their companies, corporate executives anticipate revenue growth to rise to 5.7 percent in 2019, a 0.7 increase from last year.

Now, more than ever, supply chain managers must seek out new ways to innovate.

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With new and emerging technologies like robotic process automation and blockchain, supply chain managers can incorporate multiple technologies at once to build smart factories and improve business intelligence.

2. Using Data More Intelligently

Data-driven decision making is critical to business success, and this rule is no different for the supply chain profession.

Supply chain diversification, for instance, may be driven by using multiple databases and other outside information repositories to source suppliers. The need for such dynamic approaches is higher in hyper-competitive industries like computer electronics, too.

Information Technology’s eventual overlap with Operations Technology is known as “IT/OT convergence,” and it’s happening at varying speeds between industries. Once the technology becomes viable in small and medium warehousing operations, its efficiency-enabling creep into the entire productive economy will be all but inevitable.

3. Ensuring Market Information is Accurate

Blockchain technologies enable data exchange with more trustworthy information fidelity. With standards built between companies in a Blockchain-enabled network, information can be made readily available cheaply, quickly, and with validation from the network’s constituent elements.

Blockchain is commonly described as an open ledger, which is to say Blockchain technologies are decentralized transaction records, using independent nodes in a system to keep records valid.

Information like vendor ratings, product lifecycle data, production and inventory schedules, and more can all be selectively communicated in a reliable manner with Blockchain-enabled networking. Working with a system that uses this technology can ensure transparency and dependability.

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