Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Building the Supply Chain of the Future

Why has iPhone been so successful? As we are taking supply chain class you will say it’s because of that. I agree Supply Chain played a huge factor but the simplicity or the ease of use was the biggest factor for its success. Similarly the supply chain of the future is going to dismantle today’s monolithic supply chain model and will use manufacturing networks to hedge uncertainty. In order to attain the desired simplicity 4 key trends and technologies mentioned below will and have been playing a key factor.

Speech Recognition

Hands free data entry using speech recognition is going to be the big thing very soon. This will help in reducing the need for users to manually type data (that causes errors many times) or even look at computer screen. Besides that there are softwares available in market that can integrate speech recognition easily with numerous legacy as well as ERP systems.


RTLS (Real time location systems)

In RLTS your wireless LAN can be leveraged and used as an asset tracking system. All the forklifts are connected with radio and any device connected to the given wireless LAN can be tracked. First mover in this market has been Cisco’s Wireless Location Appliance.

GPS based communication

Connectivity convergence continues with the integration of GPS communication into mobile computers. There are various advantages of GPS such as various people can track the stuff at the same time without the need of multiple integrations. Thus GPS can help scale economies significantly if used properly.

Digital Imaging

Everything is on the GO right now and with the development of enterprise mobile computing equipment and applications. Transportation and distribution companies are using digital cameras integrated with mobile computers so their capture proof of delivery, shipment labelling and 2D bar codes etc. 

Some of the other key trends and technologies that can further be explored are RFID, portable printing, wireless and device security, remote management and 2D bar code.

It not very easy to get out of the current monolithic supply chain model for any large organization and use the key trends and technologies discussed above. Nonetheless, the rewards are worthwhile and the companies will gain significant advantage in the coming years.

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