As the rapid growth of technology continues, our supply chains are benefitting. With better data and smarter use of it, supply chains across industries are embracing the digital transition and reaping the rewards in greater profits, efficiency and integration between partners.
Here, we take a look at how four major industries have been touched by digitalisation – and what the future holds:
Benefits and Challenges of Digitalisation in Manufacturing
Manufacturing is a core component of global supply chains – and the impacts of digitalisation are huge in the sector. From big changes like the design of manufacturing facilities to be more modular, flexible and adaptable; to the promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) and automation to improve accuracy, production and efficiency – there’s a lot to explore.
When it comes to unlocking these benefits, it starts with the foundation of a strong supply chain. End-to-end visibility of the supply chain is a core goal for many manufacturers – and digital logistics tools can help achieve it.
But there are challenges too. Manufacturing, for centuries, was a nuts-and-bolts job – driven by real people. Automation and digitalisation are seen as a threat to some and employee pushback is a reality that manufacturers should be aware of. It makes it important to bring those people along on the journey of digitalisation.
This comes onto a second challenge, which is a lack of experience and expertise in digitalisation. Upskilling employees into new roles could be one route to solving both issues; making workers feel like they’re part of the change, while supporting the speed of the digital transition.
How Digitalisation in Retail enables Real-Time Transparency
The digitalisation of logistics has made the e-commerce boom possible in the last few years. Progress was no doubt accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic, which forced everyone inside and online, but digital capacities ensured orders could be fulfilled and consumer demands met.
Today, the retail industry faces fresh challenges. From rising uncertainty in the face of political, regulatory and climate instability; to ever-shifting consumer demands and expectations regarding quality, choice and price. No matter how you look at it, supply chains must be optimised and efficient to handle these challenges – and digitalisation is helping.
In the face of omnichannel retail, for example, data management is key. By sharing data among internal teams, and partners; retailers can better integrate their stakeholders and streamline processes to deliver for customers.
Elsewhere, real-time transparency in the supply chain can help on multiple levels. Whether it’s for delivery drivers staying informed and instructed via apps; or in observing issues in the supply chain before they become a problem – allowing you to keep customers informed on their orders.
Understanding how to properly forecast your supply chain will improve your relationship with suppliers and ensure you’re booking the right amount of cargo to avoid unnecessary costs. Plus, most importantly, you will know how to plan for expected and unexpected disruptions.
Visibility is Key for Digitalisation in the FMCG Industry
When it comes to the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector, flexibility is in demand. Digitalisation offers the chance to adapt to changes quickly – mitigating supply chain risks while avoiding disruptions for end customers.
This is more important than ever in a sector where the rise of e-commerce means companies have gone from delivering to stores, supermarkets and wholesalers – to directly serving consumers
Once again visibility – both in the business and supply chain – is key to success and digitalisation has offered helpful tools to improve it. For example, tracking cargo all the way from manufacturing through to the end user. Or using data-driven knowledge to understand where to implement technology or direct investment.
Optimising Supply Chain Efficiency and building Resilience with Digitalisation in the Automotive Industry
In the automotive industry logistics is essential. Very often it is the real link between a manufacturer and customers – and with automobiles being an expensive and often highly personal spend, it’s important that link is strong.
With several stakeholders involved in the chain – from transport to technical providers and dealers – the focus is towards connecting and coordinating these stakeholders seamlessly. Digitalisation is helping, by offering transparency among partners, but also providing technologies that can create tailor-made control systems.
Elsewhere, there’s a lot of potential in data and analytics. Cloud-based systems can integrate predictive data analytics for freight and supplier inventory management, helping to optimise supply chain efficiency and build resilience.
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