Inbound Logistics | March 2022


by David L. Buss CEO, DB Schenker | 800-225-5229

UsingDigitalization toManageDisruptions Industry 4.0 is a revolution in manufacturing and holds promise for improving supply chain efficiency and f lexibility. The convergence of technology disruptions—automation, analytics, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality—drives this revolution. Why is digitization important and what key technologies are fueling the shift? inform decision-making and build strate- gies and contingencies to adapt to future obstacles and maintain high levels of customer service, sales, and efciency. Cyber threats. Bad actors have more opportunities to exploit vulnerabili-

ties in a digital supply chain, especially with third-party vulnerabilities that grant access to the real target. Conversely, manufacturers can have gaps that pro- vide access to suppliers, destroying brand relationships across the entire ecosystem. Suppliers and manufacturers need a rigorous protocol and evaluation process to assess risk and create stringent security across organizations and partnerships. Meeting customer expectations. Customers have become used to fast order processing and deliveries and have little patience for delayed orders. To respond to these demands, some manufacturers are switching to centralized distribution and real-time inventory management. The increasing demand for hyper-cus- tomization is also fueling shifts and linking the customers to the supply chain. Rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing are restructuring sup- ply chains and more manufacturers are choosing on-premises manufacturing capabilities with lower waste. Digitization holds promise for address- ing current challenges in the supply chain environment and creating more opportunities moving forward. n

Intelligent supply chains. Intelligent technologies, such as automation, remote eet management, and cargo tracking, are transforming supply chain technology to provide in-depth, real-time insights into locations and cargo status. Cloud-based GPS and RFID technol- ogy provides instantaneous updates on cargo location, whether in warehouses or in transit, and assessing transportation performance and efciency. Automation and business intelligence technologies can improve exibility and optimize the supply chain to adapt to changing customer demands. IoT- enabled sensors can detect disruptions or quality concerns and adapt workows in real time, without unnecessary human intervention. Together, these technolo- gies improve supply chain responsiveness and increase transparency and visibility across the entire ecosystem. Digital thread. A digital thread is a communication framework that can share information to data consumers in a continuous feedback loop. A com- munication framework can ensure the

entire supply chain is responsive as shifts in volumes, manufacturing, design, and through-life service occur. For this to be effective, workows and people need to be integrated. This marks the evolution from supply chain network to integrated value chain, allowing suppli- ers and customers to achieve collaboration and efciency while reducing costs. Demand-driven supply chain man- agement. In transportation and logistics, decisions need to be made quickly and agility is essential. Demand-driven supply chain management has been part of the industry for some time, but the high vol- umes of data and deep insights require a step up from traditional methods. In the past, forecasting was based on historical demand, but that may not be enough with the inux of data and current demands. IoT-embedded sensor technologies enabled with predictive analytics and machine learning can gather, analyze, and report insights from the environ- ment and provide real-time responses to stay agile in the face of increasing demands. Data also offers insights to

32 Inbound Logistics • March 2022

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