Here's why supply chain professionals need technology in 2020. Source: Shutterstock

Here’s why supply chain professionals need technology in 2020. Source: Shutterstock

3 technologies that will help supply chain professionals thrive in 2020

UP UNTIL A YEAR ago, technology didn’t make much of an impact on the logistics and supply chain industry.

However, in the past 12 months or so, almost all of the major shipping, freight forwarding, road & air transport, and logistics companies have taken up major digitization projects.

In fact, supply chain giant DHL has started championing digital twins and shipping and container giant Maersk has partnered with a tech company to launch a blockchain-based solution that even governments are buying into.

For supply chain professionals that want to thrive in 2020, here are three technologies they must look into, to transform their business:

# 1 | Make sensors your best friend

Today, sensors can help organizations do exciting things. In the supply chain space, it can give companies a strong competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Embedding sensors on cargo palettes, shipping containers, and on trucks and railway carriages among other things not only help companies track their products in real-time, but also file claims with insurers faster and with more accuracy if something goes missing.

Using sensors also significantly boost the company’s image and make it more accountable in the eyes of the customer, directly impacting their top line.

All in all, sensors can help supply chain companies to provide better support and updates to customers and making smarter, more informed business decisions for themselves.

 # 2 | Re-imagine your business with a digital twin

When supply chain companies embed sensors throughout their business, it puts them in a position to create a digital twin that helps them optimize their operations.

A digital twin is essentially a digital replica of their business operations. Sensors track everything that a company’s operations team does, relaying back the data to create opportunities to improve and tighten processes.

In essence, the digital twin is one of the most accurate ways for supply chain companies to make significant cost savings.

Building a digital twin also helps supply chain companies create incredible value for their customers, giving them insights into the movement of their goods that they would otherwise never have.

The data from digital twins can help exporters and e-commerce companies lower inventory cost, manage customer’s expectations when it comes to delivery schedules, and proactively manage their demand and supply pressures.

# 3 | Think out of the box to gain from big data

When supply chain companies have sensors embedded throughout their operations, they collect a lot of data.

That data can be used to help the company gain insights into the efficiencies they create for themselves and better understand the wastages, delays, lags, and challenges that hamper their business.

Using all the data, supply chain companies can easily create artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning models that help the company in new and interesting ways.

It can, for example, help further optimize processes internally and create predictive maintenance solutions that reduce downtime of logistical assets.

AI models can also help with demand planning to ensure pricing offered is most competitive while also maximizing profits.

At the end of the day, using sensors, and taking a plunge into the digital world can significantly help supply chain companies, whether or not they’re able to influence their peers and partners in the industry.