In the Material Handling Institute’s (MHI) 2018 annual survey on next generation supply chains, 80 percent of the respondents “believe that the digital supply chain will be the predominate model within the next five years—with just 16% saying it’s happening today.” The report describes digital supply chains as “information ecosystems in which a connected and carefully coordinated set of movements and actions must be tracked at every level in order to maximize efficiency and meet customer demands for increased flexibility, visibility and transparency.”
Sounds like the foundation of the ecosystem should be a transportation management system – one that allows users to track and trace all movements of freight through all parts of the supply chain, providing SKU-level visibility from the supplier to the end customer.
The digital supply chain has several distinctive characteristics:
- • It is always on – 24/7/365. Because supply chains are global, they must operate around the clock.
- • It’s hyper-collaborative with carriers, suppliers and shippers connected to a robust network where everyone can communicate and collaborate with everyone else on the network, coordinating loads for continuous moves, consolidation and more.
- • A digital supply chain focuses on customer service to better meet the exponential increase of e-commerce orders with faster delivery times and Amazon-like experiences.
- • It’s driven by predictive analytics that utilize real-time data feeds from across the enterprise, producing deep insights for better decision making.
- • It can adapt and grow alongside a business by adding modular features, such as dock scheduling to keep trucks moving while eliminating wait times.
- • It can respond quickly to disruptions so as to mitigate risk due to sudden weather changes, socio-economic issues and other challenges.
- • The digital supply chain reduces fuel and energy consumption which minimizes environmental impact and benefits sustainability initiatives.
The digital supply chain includes a number of innovations that will disrupt the status quo and give competitive advantage to participants. These technologies include: robotics, predictive analytics, Internet of Things, sensors and automatic ID, inventory and network optimization tools, artificial intelligence, driverless vehicles and drones, wearable and mobile technology, cloud computing, blockchain and 3D printing. All of these innovations can work together to create operational efficiencies and competitive advantages.
A digital supply chain is a connected ecosystem that orchestrates activities end-to-end, bringing visibility, risk mitigation, cost reductions and greater efficiencies that contribute to shareholder value. The technology for a digital supply chain starts with a transportation management system like
Kuebix TMS that supplies the digital connections, collaboration and coordination needed to maximize efficiencies and innovation.
Don’t get left behind, waiting to see what others are doing. Your digital transformation can begin today with rapid on-boarding and implementation of Kuebix TMS.