The Future of Supply Chain and Logistics is HERE

How a digital supply chain can help transform the future of logistics

The world is moving from physical to digital, from wasteful to sustainable, from delayed to instantaneous, and from manual to automated. This faster pace of commerce and the disruptions force us to re-think how we do business. As a result, this
innovation provides an opportunity in disruption. It creates fertile ground for innovation and partnerships that deliver new products, services, and business models to an industry that is in dire need of re-inventing itself to keep pace.

The future of logistics benefits from the data provided by multiple systems, advanced analytics, and the automation of intelligence. As information is provided through the many different sources, the digital supply chain connects technologies, assets, systems, and locations to enable real-time analysis, smarter decision making, and informed actions inside the supply chain.

The data provides predictive analytics that helps shape new strategies for transportation and logistics. It takes into account all variables inside the supply chain, as well as traffic, weather, and social trends, to create an accurate plan. It also allows for flexibility. For example, instead of creating monthly plans, strategies are set weekly or daily to meet inventory volatility and customer demand.

While this breaks the traditional steps between fixed processes, it opens the door for continuous improvement. It allows for better placement of inventory in warehouses that drives quicker order fulfillment. The data, connectivity, and analytics provides the foundation for automation and smart warehouses.

Robotics such as autonomous forklifts, transporters, and assembly line vehicles provide a safe, efficient, and reliable solution for the movement of goods in a warehouse, while improving productivity, visibility, and customer service levels.

Wearable technology gives managers and employees the capability to exchange data between devices and the network. Wearables support core processes such as shipping, receiving, routing, inventory management, picking, and replenishment.

Outside of the walls of warehouses and distribution centers, advanced vehicle technology that includes everything from in-cab systems to engine and trailer diagnostics, and from electric and hydrogen fuel systems to autonomy is transforming the supply chain. Connected trucks have the ability to provide a plethora of data that translates into business intelligence and key predictive analytics with the right people utilizing it.

Having all these pieces in place – technology, data, analytics, warehouse automation, advanced vehicles, and infrastructure – a connected digital supply chain can be adaptive and responsive to the demands of consumers. It gets products to assembly lines quicker and when needed. It strategically maps warehouses and distribution centers for inventory placement, and eliminates waste inside the supply chain. It drives accurate, efficient, and accelerated e-commerce fulfillment and last mile delivery.

The digital supply chain connects everyone involved from suppliers to the consumer. Products can be seen moving through the supply chain, fleets can maximize uptime, and consumers can better predict the delivery of their products they purchased. Companies can meet sustainability regulations, digitize records, and forecast better.

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