How technology can help you better manage your supply chain

In our fully connected world, technology can help you better manage your supply chain – without a doubt. Digital experiences connect your catalogue with warehousing in real-time to maximise profits and maintain your customer experience. But there’s more you could do to capitalise on technological advancements.

IoT user experience

Most companies are already harnessing internet of things (IoT) devices to improve the efficiency and productivity of their factories, logistics and shipping functions. And they probably use SD-WAN to connect these cloud and SaaS apps with their legacy systems for a holistic picture. But there’s also an opportunity to link the customer in on this journey. The Domino’s pizza tracker robot is a great example of this. It’s a fun user interface that guides the customer through each stage from cooking to quality control and delivery. And it does it in a personalised and conversational way. As a result, it’s won numerous awards for innovation and is a tool customers seem to enjoy.

supply chain tech

End to end reporting

With full interconnectivity between cloud-enabled devices and your internal systems; it’s possible to build a very robust picture of your customer. This includes their journey and preferences but also the service they receive. It can help you make data-driven decisions at a meaningful scale and can reduce the possibility of anecdotal experiences driving your business strategy. Access and monitor trends on a more frequent basis to make agile movements that keep ahead of your competition. Look for inefficiencies to plan investments into streamlining technologies like Autonomous Truckingor Robotics. According to McKinsey, “Fast picking systems can now handle between 1,000 and 2,400 picks per hour, thanks to advanced vision technology that allows them to handle objects presented in arbitrary positions or orientations.”

Manage your suppliers

Not only does automated monitoring allow management to anticipate and respond to delays by routing in backup suppliers but managing a preferred supplier list is easier than ever through technology. HBR states better manage these vendors and mitigate risk, organisations need a holistic strategy in third-party services. A sophisticated solution is a procurement platform that leverages real-time data to manage vendor contracts, provide services verification, automate invoicing and payments, and manage supply chain costs all in one place more accurately. This can also help you to ensure fairness and transparency in your contracts, meet diversity goals and maintain budgetary constraints from one central dashboard. It can automate the process of accepting new bids to ensure legacy providers are held to market standards.

Machine learning, automation & AI

MIT reports that by harnessing a combination of technologies like AI, machine learning, and predictive analytics, companies can automate warehouse operations, improve delivery times, proactively manage inventory, optimise strategic sourcing relationships, and create new customer experiences that increase satisfaction and boost sales. This means that robots can look at all the incoming data streams and make non-formulaic decisions about what action or response to make. While still limited in scope, AI can help free up human resources for more complex and enriching tasks.

If you’d like to find out more about AI, IoT, SD-WAN or any other technology related solution, get in touch with MLR Networks.

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