Supply chains and technology trends

Supply chains and new technology trends

New technological advances across the supply chain are changing the way businesses run their day to day operations.

Traditional supply chain management is fast becoming obsolete, with warnings from many top logistics specialists about the dangers of falling behind in a rapidly changing landscape. A technological revolution is happening across many industries and those who want to stay ahead of their competitors must consider embracing new technologies, to deliver a faster and smoother service to their customers.

Supply chains and technology trends

Big Data

Many new tech trends have come off the back of the big data revolution, which is changing the way companies look at their supply chains from beginning to end. Put simply, big data refers to high volumes of complex facts and figures from across a supply chain that can be turned into real life actions or decisions.

Data can range from sales numbers and buyer trends to weather conditions and global supplier issues. Collecting and accurately utilising big data using traditional methods of supply chain analytics generally, leads to inaccuracies and is often impossible. Ultimately, this means that company’s making the most of the new technology available to them are at a distinct advantage in the marketplace.

New technologies

Businesses can utilise new technological trends to crunch big data and stay ahead in the market place. One of the easiest and most popular new trends comes in the form of social sourcing; using social sites to predict trends and feed information back to S&OP. Public cloud networks are another increasingly popular tech trend, with big software companies such as Infor buying up cloud based supply chain management platforms.

Machine learning and predictive analytics are another technology trend transforming the way businesses manage their supply chain. Predictions and simulations based on real-time data from a company’s sales, the price of raw materials and even global political factors can improve the supply chain. This could help companies prioritise supplies, increase profitability and generally run a smoother operation from beginning to end.

Cloud software and machine learning is developing rapidly, whilst quickly becoming accessible to both smaller and larger organisations across the globe. These fast paced changes make it imperative for businesses to remain ‘future-proof’ in the face of growing customer demand and intelligent tech.

Business collaboration

Whilst taking advantage of growing tech trends is crucial for organisations wanting to stay competitive, it’s important for business owners not to hand their entire supply chain over to a machine.

Business collaboration

Tech is becoming increasingly intelligent but there are some things software cannot do and the need for collaboration is still important. For businesses to truly grow, everyone in the supply chain must make a commitment to cooperate seamlessly so that big data and intelligent software can be utilised efficiently. Collaboration with trusted partners in the industry is another essential tool for business looking to grow and can be a good starting point for owners that don’t have as much spare capital to put into the latest tech.

Making use of supply chain specialists is also a lower cost option for businesses on a budget. Professional logistics experts can advise on the best low-cost tech options available to harness the power of big data. With technology trends evolving all the time, it’s now easier than ever for businesses to make the most of the smart technology in the supply chain.

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Why going green could be saving your business money

Minimising emissions and promoting sustainability is essential for all businesses nowadays. With such an importance placed on environmentally friendly products, green warehouses are becoming a popular way for businesses to improve their carbon footprint and save money.

Thanks to a boom in eco-friendly equipment, it’s now relatively easier for any business to get their hands on items that are better for the environment. Going green is easier than you might think and whilst there can be a few upfront costs involved, the long-term benefits cannot be ignored.

Simple, everyday replacements

It’s easy to forget about the small things that could be having a huge impact on your eco-friendliness and warehouse lighting is one of them. Simply by switching from regular lighting to a more environmentally friendly LED, you could save your business thousands every year. They’re just as effective but use far less energy and need to be replaced less often, making them a perfect switch for any business making the move to a green warehouse.

Water wastage is another pressing issue for warehouses, although it’s not as widely talked about as electricity and gas usage. If cutting costs and reducing water wastage are something your business is serious about, then swapping to low-flow toilets, faucets and even hosepipes will help solve your wastage problem.

Unfortunately, these green initiatives will involve spending money from the outset. However, many businesses who have invested have seen serious cost reductions in a short space of time, making them more than worthy of your spare capital.

Warehouse design

Every supply chain manager knows that warehouse design is incredibly important for a smoothly run business but layout and planning can also reduce waste and cut costs. Using data collected from tracking your assets, you can work with logistics experts to transform your warehouse for very little.

warehouse design

By optimising your layout, you’ll cut down on the time it takes your employees to travel throughout the warehouse, as well as making it easier for workers to find and pick items. Not only does this cut down on labour costs, it minimises electricity used to move around the floor. Whilst it might not seem like this would have a great environmental impact, the small, everyday changes do add up throughout the year.

Recycling

Recycling is another big initiative businesses are using to improve their supply chains and turn their warehouses green. Whilst many companies already reuse a lot of materials such as pallets and crates, there’s a good chance that they could benefit from further recycling efforts. Conducting a recycling audit will help to determine if there are any other areas where reuse is possible and help your employees properly recycle anything that can’t be put to use elsewhere.

warehouse recycling

Whilst some green initiatives cost money up front, most are relatively inexpensive and some are even free. Nonetheless, the real prize is the money saved in the long-term and the continual improvement of emissions and wastage.

 

For help improving your warehouse design and layout talk to Total Logistics supply chain consultants. http://www.total-logistics.com/