Supply chain analytics will become increasingly detailed and precise as technology advances, allowing distributors to be more efficient than ever.
In a column on the Supply Chain Digital website, Craig Simon, president and supply chain CEO of FedEx, writes that companies will be able to ship products around the world “with a new level of near-molecular precision."
Simon predicts that tagging will become all-pervasive, with each individual item in a shipment being tracked in real time. With this technology, companies can have greater control over and visibility into their supply chain. This level of supply chain analytics will provide greater security, simplicity, flexibility and sustainability.
“In just 20 years, the supply chain of the future will be more finely tuned, accessible, reliable, sustainable — and profitable — than ever,” Simon writes. “That’s great news for the entire global economy that we are all so dependent on.”
This is an interesting article from someone fully qualified to speak about the transportation aspects of the supply chain. But some of the vision predicted may be here sooner than expected.
For example, it is possible today to set up a supply chain network in select distribution ERP applications that will automatically determine the appropriate source of the supply of an order and then route that order to the appropriate internal or external source for fulfillment. This can be done for standard or customized orders.
The adoption of cloud, mobility and real-time analytics along with open web-service-based application programming interfaces (APIs) is already transforming the industry. Companies are armed with the tools to be more open to doing business with customers, suppliers and manufacturers in a virtual supply chain in near real time.
Social listening tools are also bringing companies closer to their constituents so that they can be more agile and respond proactively to customer sentiment, as well as to events that would have an effect on the company’s ability to perform.
The future supply chain is not that far away, so long as the appropriate investments in people and technology are made. Companies will soon be able to have a constant connection to shipments in real time, allowing them to manipulate their supply chain with greater precision and control than ever before.
Supply Chain Digital, September 2013