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What Is Intelligent Supply Chain Management?

Intelligent Supply Chain Management

Intelligent supply chain management can reduce costs, improve profitability, and enable competitive advantage for your organization.

From the Blockchain in Trucking Alliance (BiTA) to the use of the internet of Things, explains i-Scoop, intelligent supply chain management is changing the game for traditional warehouses, retailers, consumers, and employees alike. Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming more mainstream, and machine-aided purchases, such as voice ordering thru voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, are beginning to permeate everyday households. The time is ripe for investment in intelligent supply chain technologies, but supply chain executives must first understand the key components and implementation challenges of intelligent supply chain management.

Fear and Poor Change Management Prevent Successful Implementation of Intelligent Supply Chain Management

The typical problems in attaining a truly intelligent supply chain reflect the issues present when making any investment decision. Supply chain executives express concerns over costs, disruptions to productivity, time delays, and impact on data. However, newer systems have inherent capabilities, making these concerns seem irrelevant.

[WHITE PAPER] The Top Supply Chain Trends that Will Impact Supply Chain Management in 2018

The technologies powering intelligent supply chain systems demand connected systems, integral to the omnichannel supply chain. The intuitive nature of new technologies is intimidating. If machines can learn, what is to stop them from disrupting overall operations? This is where advanced algorithms come into play, enabling continuous improvement through embedded intelligence without disrupting operations, says Dr. Ravi Prakash Mathur via Digitalist magazine.

How Can Supply Chain Leaders Implement Intelligent Practices?

  • Use big data and algorithms to improve operations. This includes using descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analytics to reduce disruptions and keep facilities operating at peak efficiency.
  • Let machine learning take hold. Machine learning allows equipment to continuously self-optimize.
  • Automate processes wherever possible. Automation reduces the amount of time needed, including labor hours, to complete a process, enhancing the supply chain.
  • Implement IoT-based systems. IoT-based systems are essential to managing complex, omnichannel supply chains due to the worldwide nature of potential customers and shipments.
  • Use RFID and (Soon) blockchain to improve visibility, traceability. Through better tracking, companies can reduce costs and stay competitive with Amazon.
  • Never stop improving. Continuous improvement through technology builds on itself, further refining the experience and capability of your system.

A small note: Although not yet widely in use, blockchain is starting to become an everyday name in more circles than just the Bitcoin craze. Some applications of Blockchain technology that supply chain managers will see shortly is the ability to track line-item movements, purchases, and transactions in supply chains, resulting in 100% end-to-end visibility. Since blockchain is built on traceability, it ensures maximum compliance with regulations and helps keep costs low.

What Does Successful, Intelligent Management Strategies Look Like?

Intelligent supply chain management means merely using data, lots of it, to make better decisions, use more advanced technology, and gain actionable insights into operations, says Intelligent supply chain management requires a connection between anything and everything in the warehouse, distribution center, storefront, and e-commerce portal. All points must have the ability to exchange information and reroute orders as needed to ensure customers have what they want at any location and at any time.

Next Steps?

If you want to begin moving your organization toward intelligent supply chain management, now is the time to act. 

Jason Rosing

Jason Rosing

Co-Founding Partner & WMOS / EOM Subject Matter Expert at Veridian
Founding partner of Veridian; a valued Manhattan Associates partner and technology leader specializing in user-friendly, robust and flexible automated testing and configuration management solutions designed to meet the ever-changing challenges of the omni-channel landscape.
Jason Rosing
Jason Rosing
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