New outlook in tech for supply chains

Any technology must ensure adaptability across supply chains. They should be capable to leverage power of data and optimize operations, which augment supply chains and empowers them to respond to the changing markets and changing demands.

CT Bureau

Complex supply chains are evolving. Predetermined supplier structures and long-term static product programs are transforming into flexible, dynamic systems. We live in a climate of risk, instability, and rapid change. And businesses must develop the ability to adapt to strategic, contingency, and financial plans whenever needed.

No business can be adaptive without a responsive supply chain. The adaptability needs to be evident throughout, from the supplier’s supplier to the customer’s customer. As a result, the past few years have seen a rising call among many organizations for more flexible frameworks. They are now implementing responsive and adaptive supply chain frameworks to reduce costs and react effectively to future needs.

Primary Challenges

Adaptive technology can only achieve full potential when the silos separating functions, business units, and regions are eliminated. This is because when digitization across industries evolved, it did so in silos. Having data that resides in silos made insights and analysis cumbersome, leading to fragmentation across processes. This fragmentation was at the core of the Supply Chain’s classic problem—lack of cohesion.

As a result, new technologies are being developed and deployed to tackle this lack of seamlessness and to achieve operational efficiencies.

Perspective of Technology

Any technology must be adaptable to ensure adaptability across supply chains. They should have built-in capabilities to leverage the power of data and optimize operations. This augments supply chains and empowers them to respond to the changing markets and be prepared for the changing demands. The resulting cohesion leads to increased supply chain connectivity and ensures orders are shipped faster, offering control of the products.

Successful supply chains need efficient data exchange processes among partners, end customers, and broader ecosystems. That means tracing inputs and value-additions at every stage of the supply chain, from sourcing to distribution. Adaptive technology architecture is the foundation for resilient supply chains—offers a decisive competitive advantage.

Leveraging platform-driven supply chains built on such foundations improves coordination across networks. This allows for better connectivity among all components and stakeholders. A platform-based adaptive ecosystem offers a flexible environment for empowering the continued evolution of non-core functions. It provides increased transparency, optimization, visibility, and control of the supply chain operations.

Although this approach has the power to eliminate silos, businesses’ existing technological investments often pose an obstacle. The next recourse is leveraging the growing trends such as uberization in the logistics sector. Providers attempt to align their offerings with an evolving consumer base, using built-in benefits such as real-time pricing and complete transparency. Blockchain empowers companies to trace a product from its origins every time it changes hands. This enables stakeholders to collaborate and reduces delays, additional expenses, and manual errors often associated with transactions.

The last level of maturity comes from the power of AI, ML, and advanced data analytics. Workflows and
daily operations can be tuned using data without manual interventions. A warehouse can change the stock in forwarding locations every season and month. The background replenishment can be triggered using ML.

Suresh Mamunuru, VP, Supply Chain & Logistics, Cybage