What are the main challenges of supply chain 4.0?

Constantly evolving, the supply chain is getting even better by becoming supply chain 4.0. Logistics players are adapting to customer requirements in terms of responsiveness and quality. Moving to supply chain 4.0 allows them to gain agility and competitiveness thanks to the automation of processes and the integration of technological advances, such as artificial intelligence, robotics, big data or IoT (Internet of Things).

Supply chain 4.0: more efficient management of the value chain

With supply chain 4.0 tools, we can define where a product is on the value chain. Knowing the consumer’s motivations helps to optimize production, while reducing costs where possible. A fine analysis of big data will guide decision-making upstream of production, by qualifying or rejecting certain suppliers.

The supply chain remains one of the major areas of improvement in the value chain. The control of the supply chain is one of the most important economic levers of the company.

More flexibility, responsiveness and fewer errors thanks to digitalization and automation

Innovation in new technologies has enabled the advent of interconnectivity between all departments and the optimization of processes in the customer order path. The use of IoT fulfills its function as a real-time indicator here.

From consumer confirmation to delivery, through all stages of manufacturing/preparation, each segment is documented in the systems so that everyone knows where the product is. The customer himself has access to this traceability, which reassures him and engages him in a long-term relationship with the company.

Supply chain 4.0 also allows intervention at any stage of the order, enabling the customer to make changes. At any time, he can ask to change model, size, color, etc. Adaptability and productivity are the main gains of supply chain 4.0. Customer satisfaction remains a fundamental issue for every company and proving its reactivity scores points with an increasingly selective clientele.

The advantage will go to the one who knows how to “do it fast and well”. The challenge is to deliver the order on time to the customer and fulfill the expected contract, while ensuring continuous communication. Here again, the digitalization of information, through automatic messages on the progress of the order and its delivery, will make all the difference and will allow the company to distinguish itself from competitors less committed to digital transformation.

Supply chain 4.0 issues

Supply chain 4.0: predictive delivery and enhanced quality

Using digital transformation to achieve supply chain 4.0 and involving all supply chain actors with digital tools are approaches that bring new flexibility to organizations.

Thanks to the visualization of the stock status in real time and to an adapted trigger threshold, the supply costs are reduced, because they are adapted to the demand at a moment “T”. There is no more unnecessary and costly overstocking. Purchases can thus be planned in advance during the right periods.

The issues continue to revolve around transportation, which is subject to numerous fluctuations due to changes in energy prices, regulations or supply and demand. The transport sector is under constant pressure and is also undergoing a digital transformation, always with the aim of improving the quality of service.


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