Does technology make supply chains valuable or vulnerable?
THE RISE of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the connected world makes supply chains more interesting and challenging at the same time.
Organisations are making significant investments in their supply chain to keep up with and to get ahead of the curve.
A recent study by Gartner found that the supply chain technology market was valued at US$13 billion in 2017, up by 11 percent from 2016, and on track to exceed the US$19 billion mark by 2021.
Embracing technology will help companies enhance service levels, reduce inventories, improve transport flows and costs, reduce the volume of returns, and significantly improve overall customer experience.
Here are some of the most hyped supply chain technology enablements, according to a KPMG study.
Chatbots are helping companies take customer service to the next level, with quick personalizations and intelligent order, returns, and claims management.
Automation inside warehouses and further along the supply chain help companies provide a seamless experience
Auto-replenishment to home
Dash Buttons and Amazon Alexa have made it easy for customers to get their daily groceries delivered right to their doorstep, automatically.
In a short while, refrigerators will be smart enough to help replenish stock automatically, thanks to a partnership between Microsoft and Samsung.
Facial recognition technology
KFC is trialling facial recognition technology to help customers by designing a meal for them based on their previous orders and their mood.
Driverless vehicles, drones, and on-board technology
GPS and track & trace devices are optimizing transport routes to make transport better, easier, and more economical.
Domino’s Pizza, on the other hand, completed their first commercial delivery of food by a drone back in 2016.
Smart labels, QR codes, and blockchain technology
Enable customers to scan and track products to access relevant information and understand where their products are, where they are, and when they’ll reach them.
Magpi Plus with new NFC and QR code questions — perfect for beneficiary tracking and supply chain managementhttps://t.co/il3WRvTErT #supplychain #Refugees #globalhealth #globaldev #datacollection #NFC pic.twitter.com/tEc788lyvW
— Magpi (@Magpi_Mobile) December 1, 2017
According to Gartner’s predictions, by 2020, there will be 20.45 connected devices which will represent all the possibilities we’re seeing right now – but they’ll all tap into the Internet, making them susceptible to hacks.
The one thing that makes them so valuable, therefore, is also the one thing that makes these devices vulnerable. It’s a risk that businesses need to work on and manage before they can get started rolling out IoT throughout their supply chains.