Wednesday, September 25, 2013
THE ERA OF DIGITAL SUPPLY CHAIN? THE FUTURE IS HERE…
Since the supply chain has now become global for all the international business models, it only means that it’s getting tougher to manage. Each international business partner has several other partners associated with him and to co-ordinate with each of them is challenging. The future of supply chain starts with addressing this problem by incorporating cloud computing in the supply chain process. Steve jobs was the first to realize the power of cloud computing which is device-based data accessible from anywhere be in on the iphone, iPad, or any smart device.
THE CURRENT PROBLEM:
The math for companies is simple-manufacturing in Asia (cheaper) and then transferring the product to the end-users in Europe or North America. But there are several problems encountered in the supply chain process. The supply chain becomes more complicated with transportation issues and logistics data. Visibility of the product in such kind of global supply chain management is challenging.
It is difficult to keep an eye on the product while it is moving through this extended supply chain. One way of doing this is by sending email or phone call to the domestic supplier, which will give you an answer in minutes or in hours. This process is chaotic and has no guaranteed result. An international shipment may have eight or more trading partners and each with a specific role for example - Manufacturers, origin draymen, consolidators, ocean carriers, customs brokers, pier draymen, stack train operators, destination draymen and freight payment companies.
So the basic problem here is supply chain visibility.
THE CLOUD BASED SOLUTION:
A solution to this problem is cloud based multi tenant platform. It is basically a social media community for transportation and logistics. This is the evolution in the supply chain and how the supply chains would work in future.
Shippers, receivers and service providers can easily be connected to each other on a network and enjoy the visibility of the supply chain.
This makes the supply chain reliable and predictable with an end-to-end visibility at the SKU level. All this is still a “BUT” – there has still not been proper development. This technology will definitely bring in a new era of digital supply chain management but it has its own set of problems. There are several global cyber resilience issues like IT tampering, hacking, terrorism etc. (Diagram)
So evaluating the worth of this technology with respect to the vulnerabilities and values at risk is the task. Would this technology overcome all the barriers and finally make the global supply chain management a digital process?
WILL THIS ERA BE THE DISRUTIVE TECHNOLOGY THAT THIS INDUSTRY LOOKS FORWARD TO?