New disruptions in the supply chain as a result of the global pandemic have revealed the necessity for better visibility in the industry for supply chain companies to stay ahead in the competition.
The good news is, suppliers recognize the importance of deploying new innovations that help retain and acquire new business. In fact, supply chain visibility technology is revolutionizing the industry, providing suppliers with the necessary tools to have complete end-to-end visibility of goods, and preparing them for potential disruptions.
Why Is Supply Chain Visibility Technology Important?
Supply chain visibility provides complete transparency of the status of goods throughout the entire supply chain. For example, suppliers can utilize the tool to instantly access the current status of the product. This enables supply chain companies to manage their logistics accordingly - if a product is delayed in transit, they can inform the manufacturer or customer of the status.
However, recent global disruptions have revealed vulnerabilities in the supply chain. The sudden shift to the online world led to supply chain companies operating in the dark, unable to maintain the same levels of efficiency as before. Simply put, supply chain companies did not have the same resources they did pre-pandemic.
That is why supply chain visibility technology is necessary, as it helps streamline the process in enabling companies to once again take control of their supply chain.
For example, let’s say there are heavy snowy conditions in Canada that have prevented all trucks, ships and planes from transporting goods. Through supply chain visibility technology, supply chain companies can get informed of the delay before the issue arises. The companies can act accordingly by adjusting their schedule to meet customer demand.
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New innovation in technology has helped the industry stay afloat, and supply chain leaders are using that to their advantage. Through the use of technology as the foundation in their supply chain, supply chain companies not only comply with government regulations, but they can also satisfy customer demand, thus staying ahead in the competition.
Recent Trends In Supply Chain Visibility Technology
Now that we have a better understanding of the landscape, let’s look at some of the trends that are currently driving innovation in supply chain visibility technology.
Shift to Digitization
It’s no secret that the pandemic has had a strong impact on every industry across the globe. Within the supply chain industry, it was vital for companies to adapt to the changing environment - manual processes and paper records were no longer viable and resulted in a loss of productivity and efficiency. By shifting to the digital realm, supply chain leaders improved operations in each supply chain and managed logistics much more effectively to provide supply chain visibility within their market.
Furthermore, the drastic increase in remote work revealed limitations of on-premises systems. Recognizing the potential disruptions that may occur, supply chain leaders have begun to move their database onto a single cloud, making their operations system much more accessible. Unification of all data into a single system leads to a more coherent team that can identify potential issues as they unfold in real-time.
Increase in Automation and Robotics
Another supply chain visibility technology that has been increasingly popular is the use of automation and robotics in the supply chain. In fact, automated storage and retrieval systems can increase accuracy in orders by up to 99%.
There’s no doubt that automation and robotics are useful - not only can they improve operational efficiency, but they can help reduce errors that may result from manual labor. Essentially, supply chain leaders can better meet customer demand by focusing their efforts on areas that don’t require automated systems.
Use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Artificial Intelligence and machine learning are taking center stage in multiple industries. This use of supply chain visibility technology has revolutionized the supply chain industry. According to McKinsey, 61% of executives report decreased costs and 53% report increased revenues as a direct result of introducing AI into their supply chains. Now, many companies are adapting their business models that incorporate AI and machine learning to stay ahead in the competition.
In the supply chain industry, AI and machine learning help to improve decision-making, planning, forecasting advanced calculations and several other capabilities, all of which can help meet customer demand while complying with government regulations.
7 Supply Chain Startups To Watch Out For
byways is eliminating waiting times for trucks at pickup and drop-off locations and increasing the turnaround time of goods for shippers/warehouses.
Terusama is a virtual logistics coordinator, providing self-service dock scheduling, digital driver check-in, automated workflows and many more supply chain visibility technologies.
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Reelables is a reel-to-reel manufacturing of ultra-thin wireless Bluetooth labels. The company is building ultra-thin flexible Bluetooth trackers that are built into labels that can be affixed to products. They enable businesses to keep track and find almost anything without any work.
project44 is an advanced visibility platform for shippers and third-party logistics firms. project44 connects, automates, and provides visibility into key transportation processes to accelerate insights and shorten the time it takes to turn those insights into actions.
Tag-N-Trac is a next-generation package tracking smart label platform for pharmaceutical logistics.
Zuum provides shippers with on-demand truck drivers ready to pick up and deliver their freight. Zuum provides real-time shipment locations at all times from pick up to delivery with instant location updates, reducing operational costs.
newtrul aggregates available shipment data from multiple sources (demand) to provide a centralized search experience for freight carriers (supply). Once a carrier finds its ideal shipment, through proprietary integrations and partnerships with most enterprise TMS', newtrul is able to provide an instant booking experience that leverages the existing workflows of many shippers and brokers.
Supply Chain Visibility Technology: Conclusion
New supply chain visibility technology has helped the supply chain industry bounce back up when the world plummeted into uncertainty. And supply chain leaders recognize the importance of new innovation in their supply chain. As a result, more and more supply chain companies are incorporating technology into their business models to meet customer demand and comply with government regulations - all while staying ahead in the competition.
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