19 September 2016

How technology helps shape supply chain management

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The technological revolution has impacted the way we do business in immeasurable ways, and supply chain is no exception. Advances in technology and systems create opportunities to increase efficiency, speed and accuracy in supply chain management.

IT systems, digital and cloud technology and even augmented reality are making their mark and helping drive supply chain management forward. Here are some examples of how technology helps shape the supply chain of the future.

The impact of cloud technology and data on improving supply chain efficiency

According to Supply and Demand Chain Executive, cloud technology is driving efficiency and offering new opportunities to improve decision making in supply chain management.

Joe Evangelist, executive vice president at Transervice Logistics Inc said real-time data is a boon for supply chain managers.

“When I can get real-time actionable data captured, it maximizes my ability for on-time delivery,” he says.

“It then empowers my dispatch team to make these critical and efficient decisions. I have drivers that are under hours-of-service constraints, I’ve got equipment that must meet strict maintenance requirements. I’m no longer constrained by the limits of the data crunching on a normal server-based system.”

Improving collaboration and leadership through digital technology

Gary Hanifan, managing director at Accenture Strategy, wrote about “digital trendsetters” for Supply and Demand Chain Executive.

According to Hanifan, “In today’s digitally disrupted world, a highly efficient supply chain is no longer enough. Digital customers expect uniquely tailored experiences that are not only delivered on demand, but also customized to their always-evolving preferences and performed at hyper speed.”
Hanifan says these trendsetters are helping transform supply chain by “doing digital differently”.

“They understand the importance of looking beyond their four walls to collaborate, manage risk and create optimal experiences. By engaging proactively across a broad and fluid ecosystem, trendsetters are tapping into partners’ digital strengths and ideas to drive significant innovation.”

Taking augmented reality to the next level

If current news coverage is to be believed, every man and his dog has lessons to learn from Pokémon Go. Apparently supply chain is no different, according to Alexandra Cain, writing for the Sydney Morning Herald.

Cain says augmented reality, the signature technology behind Pokémon Go, is the way of the future for supply chain. Augmented reality will allow businesses to track their goods more efficiently, for example.


“A more advanced version of this technology, drawing on these augmented reality tools, will soon help power optimised supply chains, allowing businesses to view all the supply chain's moving parts, giving them the ability to know exactly where their goods are in real time,” Cain says.

Christian Berechree joined Akolade’s production team in May 2016. He has a Bachelor of Media and Music and a Masters in Journalism.

Christian is a musical theatre geek and a new dad, and he’ll happily spend hours telling you about either or both of those things.

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