Supply chain 4.0 is born from the fourth industrial revolution, that of artificial intelligence and connected objects (IoT). The evolution of the supply chain now involves the automation of processes and the expansion of information. Analyzing large volumes of data (through big data) helps to manage the company and facilitates decision making. The objective of these advances? To be more and more reactive, to develop its flexibility and to improve customer satisfaction. Among the advantages of digitalization, we can note a precise estimation of the resources already available, the means to be put in place, an intelligent sourcing of suppliers and subcontractors, an effective feedback to the internal services of the company and to the customers.
Shorten supply chains with supply chain 4.0
The need to shorten supply chains became more pressing following the Covid-19 pandemic. Companies have seen how dependent they are on foreign production and global transportation. Relocating is one solution, but supply chain 4.0 is much more efficient.
Thanks to digital transformation and the exchange of real-time information flows, logistics organizations can :
- anticipate needs,
- observe the state of the stocks
- Trigger the supply at an appropriate time.
Cross-docking can also be used for local logistics, where a large stock enables small quantities to be delivered quickly within a limited radius, while promoting the regional economy.
How is Industry 4.0 revolutionizing the supply chain?
Just as artificial intelligence and high-speed communication have revolutionized today’s industry, these new technologies have also improved the performance of the supply chain. The analysis of upstream data, from raw material suppliers for example, offers a predictive vision of missing or available resources.
Purchasing managers can anticipate needs and seek new resources without waiting for a line stoppage or stockout. Maintaining productivity at all costs remains fundamental to the supply chain.
As such, digital data tools such as blockchain, big data, and IoT will become the primary sources of information supporting decision making.
From supply chain to version 4.0: what opportunities for industrial companies?
Industries that want to accelerate the transformation of their logistics to version 4.0 must use the digital transformation of their control systems. Thanks to artificial intelligence, software and robots, supply chain players are now able to:
- to anticipate,
- to adapt,
- to make effective decisions in real time.
Challenges remain in terms of reactivity, in order to increase performance and satisfy customers. Greater production flexibility, coupled with immediate adaptability to customer demand, efficient inventory and supplier management: this is what the predictive analysis obtained with the supply chain 4.0 can offer to industrial companies which will have known to take the turn of the new technologies.