Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Technology helping Global Supply Chain Systems - Inevitable

Technology helping Global Supply Chain Systems - Inevitable

Amazon has raised the bar for on time delivery. This is largely due the fact that they have a really efficient supply chain management system. Customers now expect an “Amazon” or a “Google” experience in terms of service from all the companies. Thus, implementing technology in a company is inevitable to survive in this competitive market.

Using technology lot of companies are moving towards automation of activities such as manufacturing, promotion, delivery, inventory management, etc.

As we saw the video of Tesla two weeks ago in class, most of the manufacturing process was automated which helps speeds up the manufacturing process and brings precision into the process. As Prof. Tim Zac says, machines don’t need a lunch break or a nap time, hence they are super-efficient. In the “March of Machines” video, we saw last week, the Kiva Systems technology was implemented where robots bring the goods directly to the place where the personnel is standing. Again, this feeds into the lean time management. Amazon bought Kiva systems in 2012 as a measure of building on what they already have in their supply chain management system.

Other ways that technology can affect supply chain management are as follows:

Keeping company’s production on track, predicting what can go wrong and repairing it, making modifications which can guarantee a high-quality product. Using technology, all the activities in the supply chain can be monitored giving mangers a centralized view. Also, automated notification systems can notify a single message to multiple players using various channels.

Shipping and tracking, nowadays, has become a fundamental activity in supply chain management in most of the businesses. Customers want to know when they can receive their shipments. There is a sense of customer satisfaction attached to tracking of the shipment. Tracking is useful even for supply chain managers to track the status of goods that are in transit.           

Electronically generated invoices is a major component in modern supply chain management systems.

I am currently working on my capstone project with real time client in retail industry. My clients are trying to figure out how Big Data and technology can help them improve their merchandise planning. Using modern data analytic tools, I can analyze the company data and give my recommendations such as – Which apparel and how many of those, should the client send to each brick and mortar store located all over the US?  

From the articles I read and the project I am working right now, I can see how technology can really excel the performance of any supply chain management system of any company.
The concern here is – Which technology do we use? When and Where?


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