How to use technology to address the issues with the global supply chain


Rahul Agrawal

Nov 21, 2022

Nearly every area is being clearly transformed by digitalization, but the industrial and logistics industries may be where the notion is having the largest effects.

Companies are utilising a sophisticated set of technologies in the supply chain to extend their business innovation as a result of increasing globalisation, increased product complexity, and constantly shifting client needs.

Global supply chain technology has been impacted as a result of the recent pandemic and war scenarios that have created an imbalance between supply and demand for commodities. The likelihood of lockdowns or another conflict cannot be ignored, but these dreadful circumstances have also increased the necessity for businesses to use tech-led supply chain management systems to meet the problems.

It is not unexpected to see businesses investing in sophisticated supply chain optimization solutions as they become warier of the future.

Current supply chain technology issues

Even though the supply chain's adoption of digitization was expedited by the present economic climate, there were a number of shortcomings that came to light. A revelation that made information technology's crucial functions in supply chain management necessary.

  • Shortages of materials and workers Multiple layoffs occurred in 2020–21, and a global market disruption was caused by quarantine. In addition to having trouble delegating, leaders are increasingly having trouble filling important jobs in supply chain operations and procurement. The Institute of Supply Chain Management research claims that every essential resource both human and material is expensive or hard to come by, creating complications and shortages in the sector. a scarcity that necessitates supply chain management using cutting-edge technologies.

  • Rising freight rates

Intermodal transportation had enormous growth in 2021, and spot prices also doubled; for example, the price changes for reefer (+25%), van (+18%), and flatbed (+27%) vehicles. Additionally, the cost of shipping goods by air and sea has increased dramatically, making it difficult for businesses to operate at full capacity. As a result, companies have made investments in cutting-edge supply chain and logistics technologies in an effort to identify the most economical solutions.

  • Port obstruction

Long lines have formed for ships entering ports all around the world in the last two years. For the purpose of unloading goods from China last year, in October 2021, more than 50 container ships gathered just outside of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Gridlocks like this delay ships while they search for goods, especially at the foreign port. Such bottlenecks cause both import and export activities to take longer, which disturbs the domestic supply chains.

  • Forecasting demand has its limitations

While the supplier network data was impacted by the global shutdown in 2020, initiatives to digitise were suddenly adopted in 2021. As a result, there were no standards for supply chain executives to operate around, which opened up the possibility of implementing global supply chain technology. Addressing them nevertheless remains a challenge due to the extraordinary demand. To address this, the leaders are using current data to forecast the upcoming year and establish standards for everything from inventory to pricing and budget.

These are the main issues that the supply chain sector is still dealing with even after digitalization that was sparked by COVID. These issues may be resolved by utilising a variety of innovative technologies in the supply chain. Let's examine them next.

The most impactful set of information technology in supply

chain management

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The supply chain is undergoing rapid technological change. What was once limited to paperwork and spreadsheets is now being improved upon with the use of cutting-edge technology like artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT), blockchain, robotic process automation (RPA), etc. Let's go to the list of technologies and how they are assisting in addressing supply chain management's difficulties.

  • Internet of things (IoT)

The supply chain sector is seeing a sizable potential in the global supply chain technology, particularly in censored and connected items like shipping containers, commodities, and warehousing stations.

Manufacturers and transportation businesses are predicted to invest in IoT implementations, particularly to assist manufacturing operations, production asset management, and fleet management.

Businesses will be considering IoT and AI in supply chain management for a variety of use cases including allowing location tracking, monitoring the weather, traffic patterns, etc. With the use of this data, the suppliers, for instance, might divert the supply to a nearby distribution centre or send out a repair staff to handle problems as they arise.

  • Blockchain

Global blockchain market.png Without mentioning blockchain, it will be hard to discuss the disruption of the global supply chain. The platform relies on an immutable set of transactions, making it ideal for tracing the provenance of products and building confidence in supplier data and supply chain operations.

Due to its immutability, blockchain in supply chain management creates an audit trail, which is significantly more effective than conventional tracking methods like email or bookkeeping.

As a result, allowing track-and-trace use cases that assist enterprises in examining the chain of custody of items constitutes the largest blockchain in supply chain example. As a result, it becomes easier to spot fake products and fraud cases, identify the riskiest suppliers, make sure that legal criteria are followed, and increase the transparency around the origin and flow of commodities. Due to all of this, blockchain technology in the supply chain is one of the industry's most lucrative investments.

  • AI

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Each contemporary supply chain network comes with a vast array of data that may be used to gain new understanding of the world's otherwise complicated supply chain technology.

Companies are able to automate warehouse operations, improve delivery times, manage inventory proactively, optimise sourcing relationships, and create new experiences that improve user satisfaction and boost sales by combining technology in supply chain management and logistics such as AI, predictive analytics, and machine learning.

Businesses are able to analyse massive data sets and acquire insights on a microscopic level using predictive methodologies and artificial intelligence algorithms in supply chains, all with essentially no human participation. This is among the main justifications for why companies are turning to AI as an essential supply chain and logistics technology.

  • Robots and automation

Technology used in supply chains has always been heavily reliant on robots. It has been employed by the sector to conduct order fulfilment and move items in the warehouse. However, as AI develops the technology of the robots, they will become capable of taking on manual, human-driven jobs like order picking and packaging and automated supply chain technology.

Through automated supply chain management systems, the combined capabilities of people and robots are enabling extensive deployments. By 2023, 65% of warehouse tasks will be performed by robots and situational data analytics, which will help with storage optimization, increase warehouse capacity by more than 20%, and cut down work order processing time by half.

The supply chain's new technological trends

It is hard to overlook disruptions in the supply chain. It is amazing to see how the industry has changed between the COVID period and today. We are only a few steps away from the entire global digitization of supply chain thanks to technologies like artificial intelligence in supply chain, IoT, cloud computing, robots, and blockchain in supply chain management making their presence more prominent in the field.

These supply chain disruption patterns are only the tip of the iceberg in terms of what the industry will see over the next several years. We will soon enter a period where enterprises, especially those in manufacturing and logistics, will become more efficient as a result of the increasing use of next-generation technology in the field.

It becomes essential to invest in the appropriate collection of technology for the goods-driven business; supply chain software professionals like Remotestate can assist with this. We have a wealth of expertise in supply chain engineering and consulting for digital transformation.

We specialise in using next-generation technologies like AI, blockchain, IoT, and robotic process automation to alter supply chains across a variety of sectors. Our team of development specialists is well-versed in how to do this.

Now that we know how technology benefits the supply chain, contact us right away to start your supply chain adventure.