The digital transformation of the supply chain is characterized by the use of technologies such as blockchain, process automation, artificial intelligence, big data or IoT. Why is this digital transformation critical to the supply chain and how is it changing supply chain processes? Can the digitalization induced by the supply chain 4.0 reduce the productivity costs of companies?
Why digitize the supply chain?
Digitization is by definition a technological process that brings improvements and solutions to IT systems in all fields of activity.
As far as the supply chain sector is concerned, the challenges of digital transformation are to improve the productivity of operations:
- shorten production cycles,
- increase the visibility and traceability of products,
- secure the data,
In terms of human resources, digitalization allows for improved collaboration between employees and managers, attracting new talent and reducing repetitive tasks through automation and robotization.
The integration of new technologies makes all production, supply and distribution operations more efficient. At the same time, supply chain companies are becoming more agile and responsive to demand.
Supply chain 4.0: how is digitalization taking place?
The evolution of the supply chain is a current topic that involves innovation and productivity issues that are well identified within most organizations. This is why digital transformation must start with the supply chain. For this to happen, it is first necessary for all the actors in the company to adhere to the change generated by the integration of new technologies.
In concrete terms, the challenges of supply chain 4.0 are to modernize all processes and reduce production costs. This goal can be achieved with the installation of software and IoT, in order to collect the data.
Similarly, the use of AI enables predictive maintenance to better manage the supply chain. At the same time, the installation of new IT tools reinforces the security of data concerning suppliers, customers, products, etc.
Digitalization and automation: the technologies of Industry 4.0
New technologies are essential for fast and efficient operations between the various players in the supply chain. That’s why the use of IoT in supply chain 4.0 is one of the main areas of development. It also becomes a factor of innovation thanks to the use of autonomous robots in the staff.
Warehouses can also use mechanized solutions, such as towing vehicles or forklifts. Other growth levers lie in the automation of processes, which reduces errors due to human handling. The results obtained make it possible to increase the cycles of deposition and extraction of the products with a more sustained rhythm.