The COVID-19 outbreak intensified a number of persistent and covert problems in international logistics. This made it necessary to enhance the operations and processes of digital supply chain management. Furthermore, because of the new technology and fast growth of digitalization, it is essential for Supply Chain Management and Warehousing to these recent trends.
Supply chain management represents an essential component of logistics. The emergence and usage of new technologies will affect traditional supply chain management systems (SCM) dramatically. More so, modern technology has grown to encompass multiple aspects of the supply chain that have transformed logistics, production, and business management into a more efficient way to meet consumer demands while boosting profits.
Here are five trends in Supply Chain Management and Warehousing:
1. Warehouse Robotics and Robotic Automation
The massive adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Industrial Internet (II), along with the development of advanced robotics systems that can be integrated into operations, warehousing, and logistics, might cause a revolution in supply chain management. This may enable companies to enhance customer satisfaction by improving their responsiveness to customer orders and providing them with tailored services.
Robotic automation and intelligent technologies will enable the business to considerably reduce manual labor costs, increase warehouse functioning, lower the risks of human errors and promote supply chain management. Automation for warehouses is also gaining a lot of attention from gadgets like collaborative robots.
2. Warehouse for Lease
This refers to the actual warehouse space for lease. Warehouses are businesses that own storage facilities for their client’s goods. They keep and manage these facilities, enabling customers to grow their businesses without investing in creating storage space. Warehouses do this by renting out storage spaces, handling logistics, or providing packaging services. Most offer different services and usually have extensive facilities where they can store up to millions of items in various sizes and shapes at a given time.
For example, if you are looking for a warehouse for lease in San Antonio, warehousefinder.net can help you locate a warehouse company that offers storage spaces on lease. You can use the website as a guide to choose between different warehouses and to arrange logistics services, including freight forwarding, shipping, and transportation services.
3. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology that enables computer-generated images to be overlayed onto a live camera feed or physical objects. Virtual Reality (VR) is an electronic environment that can be explored and interacted with by a person. It incorporates mainly visual and auditory sensations, with some users also interacting with haptic devices worn on the body, such as vibrating gloves.
AR and VR are being employed regularly in e-commerce and supply chain management. They complement the use of mobile devices and cloud computing technology. Some companies use AR to display data about the products going through their supply chain, for example, via a screen when the customer wants to know more details about a product they are contemplating buying. VR provides customers with an amusement experience that can sometimes be complemented with AR capabilities such as virtual reality magazines, games, and other similar applications.
Blockchain technology, or distributed ledger technology (DLT), is a continuously growing list of records (blocks) linked and secured using cryptography. It comprises a digital ledger in the cloud that keeps track of all transactions made in the system. Blockchain supports smart contracts, said to be the future of commerce and supply chain management. Smart contracts are self-executing computer programs that respond to events such as the payment of an invoice. The program, once deployed to the blockchain executes all its functions automatically when specific conditions are met without any human involvement required. This ensures contract compliance and reduces errors that could arise from manual input. Delivery and tracking data can also be shared and updated in real time, providing complete end-to-end transparency.
5. Mobile Devices and Cloud Computing
Mobile devices have contributed significantly to supply chain management and are a potential enterprise business solution for organizations looking to improve their supply chain management products and services. The rise of smartphones, tablets, e-readers, and other mobile devices has resulted in consumer data use surge, which is expected to be driven even further by future development in wearable technology. The adoption of cloud computing will be a crucial enabler in the growth of this market. This is because it has made information sharing easy and accessible to all users across the supply chain.
The management of supply chains is a complex process but one that the use of technology can significantly influence. Using IoT, cloud computing, mobile devices, and AI will enable companies to better understand their customers and suppliers and improve their supply chain management processes while cutting costs and increasing efficiencies, which in turn will generate greater profits.