Best practices for a technology-driven supply chain

Best practices for a technology-driven supply chain

A recent study revealed that the 58% of UK businesses are aware of the need to improve their supply chains. Consequently, most are transitioning away from the ‘just in time’ model that prioritises cost efficiency over other factors, to a ‘just in case’ system. The pandemic has had a damaging effect on British organisations since its onset, with 66% experiencing delayed production, 64% suffering a dip in revenues, and 58% losing customers. Subsequently, 23% of businesses anticipate ongoing supply chain problems until at least summer 2023.

To stay resilient against external factors, businesses are looking to new technology and environmentally friendly supply chain solutions. Without these changes, businesses may face a tough 18 months.

The benefits of digitisation

The digital age is here to stay, and with it comes a plethora of opportunities for businesses to overcome external factors, cut down on costs and maintain a sustainable supply chain:

  • By automating operations, businesses not only reduce the time and effort spent on manual processes, but they increase the speed at which actions can be completed.
  • By unifying different parts of the business, such as the warehouse, manufacturing plant, and distribution centre, businesses can gain better visibility into their supply chain and quickly identify any issues that may arise.
  • By sharing real-time data with vendors, suppliers, and other stakeholders, businesses can ensure everyone is on the same page and working to make the supply chain more efficient.
  • By leveraging and analysing data from all aspects of your operations, businesses can quickly identify trends, anticipate customer needs, make better informed decisions, and optimise their processes.

How to embrace technology in your supply chain

To successfully incorporate digitisation within your operations, it’s essential to find an approach that fits with the business rather than one that is bolted on. In countries like Asia and China, automation and smart factories have been adopted from the beginning as the de facto way of operating, while in the UK and Europe, a different mentality and historic experience have taken precedence.

When it comes to large projects, it’s important to ensure high quality management and that the business isn’t trying to do too much in a short period of time. In order to do this, businesses must identify the areas that are going to have the biggest impact and then look for solutions that address these challenges.

Integration is also key, as businesses need systems that can work alongside others and be slotted into an ecosystem. It is important that this is done in an incremental way, rather than the traditional “one big bang” approach. Individual problem solving is often referred to as “vanity projects”, where those who shout the loudest tend to get the attention. To manage this, it is important to break large projects into smaller chunks and work through each problem. This can help ensure that those leading understand the complexity that is involved in the supply chain and are able to make informed decisions.

The need to improve supply chain operations is now a critical focus for the majority of UK businesses. By embracing technology and creating an agile, resilient and data-driven supply chain, businesses can ensure that they are prepared to face whatever external factors may come their way.

Empower your operation with end-to-end connectivity

To explore this topic in more detail, access our latest webinar to gain insights into the current state of supply chain operations, as well as best practices for leveraging technology to create a sustainable, cost-effective and customer-centric supply chain.