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[INFOGRAPHICS] 4 Uses of Supply Chain Technology Applications Moving Shippers into the Future of Effective Management

supply chain technology applications

In today's highly competitive marketplace, it’s imperative for businesses to innovate new ways to streamline their supply chain and optimize productivity. With the aid of modern supply chain technology applications, you can create better visibility within your supply chain, which will enable you to have more control over your business and stay ahead of the competition. Technology can help to simplify your supply chain management, which will enable your business to operate more efficiently, give you more visibility and control over your inventory, and help to reduce your operational costs. Additionally, through a more stable and efficient supply chain, you can greatly enhance customer satisfaction and retention. Here are just a few ways to integrate modern supply chain technology applications into your business model and improve your supply chain management.

1. Computerized Shipping and Tracking

With the aid of modern technologies and web-based software, like a transportation management system (TMS), you can simplify the supply process and dramatically reduce shipping errors. Utilizing systems like TMS, ERP, and even CRM enables savvy business owners to consolidate all aspects of their supply chain in one place. The software will allow you to digitally organize inventory data, monitor and manage shipping, and tracking information, and create electronic bills of lading or invoices with ease. Through the use of supply chain management technologies, you can greatly reduce the time spent shipping, receiving, tracking, and compiling order data, which will save your company both time and money.

Not only will the use of widely available supply chain technology applications improve the operational efficiency of your supply chain, it will also greatly enhance the customer experience by providing consumers with the ability to continuously track the status of their orders. Through digitalized tracking, you can significantly reduce shipping errors and more rapidly respond to the errors that do occur. In this day and age, having technology is essential to running a thriving corporation that is both business and consumer-friendly.

2. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a vital piece of technology that can provide innumerable benefits to the business owner. RFID chips are placed on every product and provide a way for business owners to easily track their inventory. Due to the increased visibility RFID chips provide, they will substantially improve your supply chain efficiency by detecting any order anomalies as they occur, enabling employees to immediately correct mistakes. In addition, it allows for easier and more consistent tracking, enabling business owners to have maximum control and visibility over their products at all times. Since RFID chips provide computerized product management, they can eliminate the potential for errors, simplify the supply chain, and reduce operating costs.

Radio frequency identification (RFID) has become one of the megatrends in logistics. It is surprising then that despite the hundreds of millions of RFID tags sold this year alone that, according to results from the 2014 GS1 US Standards Usage Survey, finally saw the technology living up to the hype in the logistics industry in the last few years.

Here are only a few ways that RFID technology has changed, and is continuing to change the not only the way we think about logistics, but also how interact with the world around us. Check out the infographic below for all the facts! Source: Morai Logistics

9 Facts About RFID Technology in Logistics

9 facts about RFID technology supply chain technology applications

3. Use Social Media to Streamline Supply Chain

Social media is a popular technology that has swept the world. With over 288 million Twitter users and 1.23 billion Facebook users, it’s no wonder many businesses are turning to social media to gain visibility for their company. In fact, over 70 percent of all Fortune 500 companies rely on social media as part of their marketing strategy and supply chain management. Through the use of social media, you can create more open communication with customers, increase the visibility of your company, improve the demand on your products, utilize cost-effective and time-efficient marketing strategies, lower your operational costs, and enhance your company’s overall productivity. Social media can be used to interact with customers, respond to questions, report accidents or weather conditions that may impede delivery schedules, and create automated updates about your inventory.

INFOGRAPHIC: Streamline Supply Chain Using Social Media

Social Media has been widely used in general business and marketing but the application in supply chain management context seems to be lagging behind. As a matter of fact, social media can be utilized to improve various aspects of supply chain and business results can be achieved rapidly.

The purpose of this infographic is to illustrate 10 actions across 4 categories, namely, - Supply chain event management - Relationship management - Supply chain collaboration - Information technology Therefore,supply chain management professionals should be able to implement these ideas immediately and gain the quick win business results. Source: SupplyChainOpz.com.

supply chain technology applications social media infographic

4. Big Data Will Envelope and Empower all Other Supply Chain Technology Applications

The scale, scope and depth of data supply chain technology applications are generating today is accelerating, providing ample data sets to drive contextual intelligence. The following graphic provides an overview of 52 different sources of big data that are generated in supply chains Plotting the data sources by variety, volume and velocity by the relative level of structured/unstructured data, it’s clear that the majority of supply chain data is generated outside an enterprise. Forward-thinking manufacturers are looking at big data as a catalyst for greater collaboration. Source: Big Data Analytics in Supply Chain Management: Trends and Related Research. Presented at 6th International Conference on Operations and Supply Chain Management, Bali, 2014

 technology and supply chain managementBig Data also allows more complex supplier networks that focus on knowledge sharing and collaboration as the value-add over just completing transactions.  Big data is revolutionizing how supplier networks form, grow, proliferate into new markets and mature over time. Transactions aren’t the only goal, creating knowledge-sharing networks is, based on the insights gained from big data analytics. The following graphic from Business Ecosystems Come Of Age (Deloitte University Press) (free, no opt-in) illustrates the progression of supply chains from networks or webs, where knowledge sharing becomes a priority.
big data technology supply chain management

 

Simplify Your Supply Chain with Supply Chain Technology Applications

The more links there are in your supply chain, the more convoluted and complex that chain becomes. By simplifying the supply chain and disposing of unnecessary links, you can improve efficiency and reduce expenditures. Work directly with the manufacturers whenever possible, rather than purchasing through an intermediary source. By working directly with the manufacturers, you can greatly reduce expenses and create a simpler and more efficient supply chain. Reducing the links in your supply chain will also enable you to lower the risks associated with shipping and receiving. Given shipping and other functions of the supply chain are contingent on such factors as weather, international border security, economic collapse, and natural disasters, simplifying how you accurately combine supply chain technology applications with data as much as possible in your analysis of suppliers to include vendors, shipping partners, and more, will improve the reliability and efficiency of your supply chain and leave your business less vulnerable to unforeseen disaster.

In order to improve as a business, it’s essential to continually adapt to emerging supply chain technology applications in order to stay ahead of the competition. By integrating modern technologies into your business plan, you can greatly enhance your productivity as a company while cutting costs and improving customer satisfaction and client retention. Customers will likely be turned off of a business that routinely has shipping delays, shipping errors, or products that are out of stock. Enhancing your supply chain can minimize risk and improve your reputability in the eyes of the public. 

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Adam Robinson
Adam Robinson oversees the overall marketing strategy for Cerasis including website development, social media and content marketing, trade show marketing, email campaigns, and webinar marketing. Mr. Robinson works with the business development department to create messaging that attracts the right decision makers, gaining inbound leads and increasing brand awareness all while shortening sales cycles, the time it takes to gain sales appointments and set proper sales and execution expectations.
Adam Robinson
Adam Robinson
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