Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

Supply Chain 3

How can technology be leveraged to improve the supply chain ecosystem?

Technology has been revolutionizing business operations from the turn of the 21st century and the current pandemic has only strengthened its need. Where the rapid growth and capricious demands of the ecommerce sector pushed both logistics and supply chain sectors to evolve and reinvent themselves by adopting technology, the extended lockdowns shook and disrupted the supply chain systems.

The adoption of new technologies can modernize supply chain processes and allow manufacturers and retailers to keep up with the demands of a voracious and competitive market.

AI-powered technology can play a critical role to garner safety across the supply chain ecosystem at every touchpoint. For example:

  • Intelligent app-based monitoring to ensure strict adherence to the safety mandate
  • Contactless deliveries and doorstep UPI payments for COD orders
  • Tracking of COVID impact zones to ensure the strictest levels of precautionary measure

With innovative tech, organizations can turn unstructured real-time data into insights that help predict disruptions and vulnerabilities, providing near-term visibility.

Blockchain technology is a modern-day marvel which ensures a transparent and precise end-to-end tracking in the supply chain helping organizations to digitize physical assets, create impeccable records of all the transactions making it feasible to track assets from production to the last mile customer.

The omnichannel supply chain is the need of the hour, breaking down the organizational silos and bridging the gap between offline and online to meet the new demand patterns. Technological integrations harness higher levels of resilience, reliance, transparency, and effectiveness of supply chains to adapt to the demands of the present.

In your opinion, are traditional logistics companies ready for a digitally connected and integrated supply chain?

With the current pandemic crisis, the global behavior towards shopping has changed irreversibly. The inclination towards online shopping may have begun a decade ago, but the COVID-19 situation has accelerated this shift unimaginably.

As a result, supply chains are broken and thrown off-guard by the pandemic.  Most organizations, traditional and modern, are still in the reactive stage trying to pick up the pieces of the shattered supply chain.

Adaptability and speed will be crucial in getting things back together. Leaders will need to be agile and innovative in order to experiment, evaluate, implement, monitor and optimize to meet the demands of the changing market conditions. Integrating the supply chain with digital logistics will be the game-changer for logistics companies.

In these rapidly changing times, logistics is going to play a vital role in the fulfillment of the basic customer needs – whereas dining is taking a hard hit, online food ordering is on a steep rise. Grocery store footfalls are on a decline, while online grocery is gaining unprecedented momentum. With customers going digital, the importance of logistics will increase by many folds and the demand for hyper-local logistics will be massive from hereon. So, overall supply chains will have to be remodeled to cater to this transformed market scenario.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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