Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Future of Supply Chain

       As technology and complexity in supply chain management grows in the coming years, several methods and technology has evolved to force the status quo to adapt and change.
  1. 3D printing- this technology, although still in the early stages has proven to be an integral part of the the future. Reports have estimated that as much as up to 80% of finished goods produced will use 3D printing. This could change the way manufacturing is viewed, as large scale companies could shift more of the workload from globally to locally.
  2. Social Media- the widespread use of social media in society has allow customers and suppliers a level of transparency that was never there before. However, most people in SCM are still hesitant about the technology due to fear of increased scrutiny. This does not have to be the case, as those who are visionaries can see that this technology will allow better communication and allow for real time issues to be addressed between consumers and suppliers.
3. Increased globalization- this is a challenge that all SCM are dealing with. As the world becomes more integrated, it is imperative that managers and organizations must figure out a way to manage the enormous complexity of the supply chain. Technologies such as social media and cloud computing can help with this challenge. To survive supply chain entities must incorporate management tools and techniques that will increase and support efficiency across the supply chain.
4. Cloud computing- as mentioned before with the growing complexity of the global supply chain, it is imperative that supply chain managers are able to make critical decisions quickly. Cloud computing is a solution to this. With this technology businesses will have at their hands data and the ability to access such data anytime and anywhere.
5. Multi-echelon approach- technology is vital to a supply chain, but just as important is maximizing efficiency of inventory. A multi-echelon approach employs a bird's eye view of the entire inventory and try to optimize the efficiency of the whole network rather than just a single warehouse. This method will allow safety stock to be placed in optimal locations and free up cash for businesses to re-invest in themselves.

Question: What challenges will businesses have in trying to employ any of these methods into their organizations?

Source: http://www.supplychaindigital.com/outsourcing/the-future-of-the-supply-chain

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