2017, supply chain and technology

Every year brings new challenges to businesses. And every year is commonly marked by the fact that technological developments happen much faster. As David Kiger has widely mentioned in older posts, in regards to supply chain management and technology, both terms seem to always go hand in hand. This explains why companies spare no effort in becoming more competitive year after year. It is not a secret that the use of new technologies definitely serves as a tool for enhancing a company’s supply chain management, however, the extent to which such premise holds true depends mostly upon the degree to which a company harnesses its such developments for providing its customers with a greater, better service.

The appearance of new technologies must strive to help companies achieve much better results —often translated as less operational costs and a better use of the invested capital—. At first sight, the logistic process seems to not entail a daunting challenge; furthermore: it almost seems as something somewhat easy. Nevertheless, by taking a closer look at the details, the vital role of technology within logistics and supply chain management becomes visible: and it results easy to understand that technology is always present, from the moment where an idea is conceived, the moment where such idea is executed and the moment where it is conveyed.

Amongst the most important things companies and organizations should to take into account when acquiring new technologies in hopes to improve their supply chain and logistics department are:

Connectivity

Today’s juncture is all about merging and connecting different processes. Technology serves as the main tool for establishing a reliable bond between a company’s different processes. Connectivity is only possible through the use of technology, and it is what enables a company to successfully bring together its employees and both the supply chain and logistics.

All-in-one

Today’s latest developments allow companies and organizations to have pretty much everything compiled in a single device. This feature has proven to be very effective and useful for several corporate processes, as it enables them to combine different, yet not mutually exclusive activities, which ultimately results in a much easier administration of such processes. The supply chain is not the exception.

Localization

In real time, satellites now allow companies to track their assets as they travel. Such development comes in handy for improving a company’s customer service, as it will be possible to provide customers with a more detailed report about their purchases, using real-time information. Besides, using more accurate data also entails the capability of having more control over operations.

Wireless security

Security is something companies ought to pay special attention to. Many positive developments have emerged, but also new ways of committing felonies against companies by using technologies have been found. Wireless security allows companies and organizations to prevent possible security breaches from happening since their information will be safe and organized, but more importantly, accessible in real time so that the manager, or the company, can make decisions according to the consumer needs.

Be that as it may, as today’s juncture heads into a new year, it is highly advisable to act in advance and assess what type of new trends and new developments are the ones whose applications is likely to result in a positive outcome. As mentioned earlier, the pace will be marked by technology. Nonetheless, even though technological achievements and innovation have been present over the last decade, and will surely be present in the future years, managers, and the people responsible for the supply chain in a company must understand the fundamentals or order for those future enhancements to work.

innovation_logistics_suplly-chain_technology
Image courtesy of Boegh at Flickr.com

So, in the end, it all comes down to realizing that, before putting in practice as many technological trends as possible, it is of high importance to ensure that both the company’s processes and employees will benefit from it, otherwise, the result might be far from the initial expectations. A company’s processes have to be tailored to the available technology, not the other way around, for the idea, is to enhance them through the application of innovative developments. The same premise has to be taken into account as far as the human capital is concerned: are the employees in the right place? Are they capable of using what is about to be implemented? As in the majority of corporate processes, knowing the fundamentals presupposes a vital element, since, otherwise, it will be very tough and hard for companies and organizations to achieve the results they seek. The use of technology seeks, above all, to provide companies with a better and cheaper way to carry out any process; to help companies do their job the most cost and time efficient way while they pursue their goals, therefore, as mentioned before, in order for this to happen, it is necessary to have defined in advance the use of such innovations.

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