Thought Leadership

Ideas that design the supply chain of the future

New Era of Transformation for Global Supply Chain Operations, Factoring in not just Technology but Resilience and Human Aspect too

Supply chain operations are the backbone of any company. In the modern era, with globalization and technological advances, these operations have become even more important to keep up with the ever-changing demands of consumers. New technologies such as AI, Robotics, real-time tracking and big data analytics have revolutionized how goods are distributed, from raw materials to finished products. But with the recent Covid-19 pandemic, there are new aspects to consider in the transformation journey – namely, resilience and the human element.

The global supply chain was already under immense pressure even before Covid-19 hit. The outbreak of the pandemic has only exacerbated these challenges, with businesses forced to grapple with unprecedented levels of disruption. In response, many companies have had to rapidly adapt their operations in order to survive. This has meant making changes to everything from manufacturing processes to logistics and distribution networks.

AI-driven automation comes out as a sheer winner

However, the pandemic also created an opportunity for businesses to transform their operations and become more efficient and effective. One way that emerged over the years as an effective solution was by investing in artificial intelligence (AI) driven automation and robotics. AI was seen as a clear winner in not only helping businesses automate tasks, such as order fulfillment and customer service, but the businesses equipped with cutting-edge AI solutions displayed smarter reactiveness to sudden unprecedented challenges and excelled even in crisis with efficient decision-making. Analytics helped businesses track data and understand customer behavior much better, while robotics and automation technology helped businesses speed up production, avoid disruptions and ensure an overall improved scale of process management.

Factoring in the rising need for more resilient supply chains

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on global supply chains, with many businesses struggling to cope with the sudden disruption. One of the biggest challenges facing supply chain managers today is how to make their operations more resilient. With Covid-19 still raging across much of the world, it's clear that businesses need to be prepared for further disruptions in the months and years ahead. This means having contingency plans in place for dealing with potential supply shortages, transportation issues and other unforeseen problems. Building resilience into global supply chains will be essential for businesses to survive and thrive in the post-Covid world, and global supply chains are feeling the pressure of including that as one of the additional elements in their transformational journey.

There are several ways to achieve this, but the most important ones being:

Diversifying Supplier Bases: One way to make global supply chains more resilient is by diversifying supplier bases. This approach helps to mitigate the risks associated with relying on a single supplier for critical components or materials. If one supplier experiences a disruption, having alternate sources can help ensure continuity of operations. Additionally, this strategy can help to foster competition and drive down costs. Diversifying supplier bases can be challenging, but there are several ways to accomplish this goal. One approach is to work with multiple suppliers for each key component or material. Another option is to source components or materials from different geographies. By taking a strategic approach to supplier diversity, companies can make their supply chains more robust and resilient.

Better management of stock levels: In recent years, the globalization of supply chains has led to increased risks and vulnerabilities. Disruptions in one part of the world can quickly ripple through the entire system, leading to shortages and delays. To make global supply chains more resilient, it is essential to better manage stock levels and have additional stocks on hand. By having a buffer of extra inventory, companies can ensure that they can continue to meet customer demand even in the face of disruptions. Additionally, better stock management can help to reduce the likelihood of shortages and identify potential problems before they occur. By taking these steps, businesses can make their supply chains more agile and responsive, helping to keep the flow of goods moving even in difficult times.

Investing in digital technology: By investing in digital technology, companies can make their supply chains more agile and responsive. Additionally, this approach can help to reduce costs and improve visibility. One of the most important investments companies can make is in a holistic supply chain solution. These systems help to integrate all aspects of the supply chain, from procurement to manufacturing to distribution. By having a single, centralized system, companies can get real-time visibility into their operations and make better decisions about where to allocate resources or take quick decisions during times of crisis. Additionally, they can help to automate many of the tasks associated with supply chain management, making operations more efficient and reducing the likelihood of human error.

The new era of transformation that factors in the human element

Another key consideration in the new era of transformation is the human element. The pandemic has shown us just how important it is to factor in the wellbeing of our workforce. In particular, we need to make sure that employees have the support they need to stay healthy and productive. In this new era of supply chain transformation, a new level of sophistication and efficiency is added to the logistics industry by focusing on its workers' well-being, retention rates for talent as well as their overall satisfaction with how they are being treated at work through various initiatives targeted towards these goals that were previously never considered before now such an "inclusive" culture where all employees can feel comfortable giving you their utmost support even in times of crisis. This includes providing them with access to mental health resources, flexible working arrangements, and other forms of assistance, which also includes technological advancements that augmented with the workforce ultimately boosts their productivity and improves their overall morale.

Global supply chains have become more complex in recent years as a result of not just technological advancements but also the unnoticed avenues of transformation coming into factor for this great post-void transformation of global supply chains. The new era of supply chain operations is bound to see much more changes towards a more "inclusive" structure of things, thereby equally involving every significant stakeholder and affecting factor in its transformation. The new logistics setup will enable a lot of reductions in cost, errors and time, leading and paving the way for a better and sustainable logistics industry.

If you are looking for innovative technology to augment your workforce and to create the highly resilient and futuristic logistics framework then we have the perfect plethora of solutions for your every need. From smarter AI-driven automation to boost your logistics performance to labor management systems for giving your workforce the needed motivation and productivity boost to real-time visibility and exception detection for your national/international shipments, we have got you all covered. Check out more at:

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About the author :

Srini Vaidy

President and CEO, Highway 905

Srini Vaidy is the President and CEO of the award-winning, cloud-based logistics technology provider Highway 905. He is an established innovator in the Supply Chain & Logistics space, with an ever-dying passion for coding and technology. For more than 30 years he has been ideating customer-centric and efficiency-driven supply chain execution solutions for the Fortune 500 to help them optimize their logistics costs and strengthen their competitive market position. With one eye on technological trends and the other on the happenings in the logistics space, he likes providing readers with an interesting perspective on the future of logistics industry.

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