Digital transformation in Supply Chain

Travelling back from a recent holiday highlighted to me the challenges we’re faced with on a daily basis, whether it’s in our personal lives or at work solving a problem to make our company run more efficiently, save costs and increase productivity. New ideas and solutions to problems are ever present – some we adopt and others we ignore, occasionally at our expense. One of my favourite, but madly absurd, ideas was the announcement by one airline in 2010 and another just this year; both want to offer standing room only on their short-haul flights, which sounds ridiculous! Passengers want comfort surely? But for the budget airlines it would be a big thumbs up, maximising capacity and increasing profits with every single flight. Staying with the transport theme I began thinking about how new ideas and technologies are innovating the supply chain where there is a strong digital transformation drive at the moment. Encouraged by changes in consumer behaviour, millennials are shopping in a completely different way to the previous generation, forcing retailers to rethink their entire approach to customer engagement and order fulfilment. Consumers still drive down prices while demanding increased or better services, and in our busy lives we want products delivered when and where it’s convenient for us. We have heard how Amazon proposed to solve this problem with flying drones delivering packages right to our doorstep, potentially a cost-effective way to distribute small packages as no drivers are needed and there’s no re-delivery costs, or road congestion issues. The Amazon drones are a big tick in the customer service box but it may be a long time before a service like this is common place.

In the meantime, our online activities produce masses of data; each day 2.5 exabytes are produced, the equivalent of 530,000,000 million songs, 90 years of HD video, 5 million laptops and 150,000,000 iPhones. Given that big data is growing 4 times faster than the world economy, understanding data is BIG business. In the supply chain, big data is used to leverage patterns, analyse risk and react to demand, and looking ahead this intelligence will even make predictions about what raw products might be required either downstream or upstream to maximise profit and reduce costs. However, in the main, many supply chains still operate in a very retrospective way, with reports run at the end of a shift, the end of the day, week or even month, when it is too late to be reactive or to make real-time informed decisions that have instant impact on the NOW. Imagine a solution that integrates with multiple big data feeds, triggers content, information or messages to play on the right screen, be it a mobile device, desktop PC or large-format screen, at the right time giving the viewer an opportunity to make instant, informed, real-time decisions that impact the NOW, rather than waiting for that report to be run when it’s too late to be responsive.

At CDEC, our solutions can address a variety of supply chain issues including display alerts on desktops and mobile devices to keep management informed no matter where they are. We can also help to maximise worker productivity, recognition and morale with large, easy-to-read digital signage displays, and encourage workers to exceed their goals with colour-coded and graphical visual results of current workflow output, strategically displayed on large HDTVs and LED displays. Our visual communications solution offers a better way by aggregating and presenting critical information from your WMS and ERP systems in real time, and with real-time data visualised on screens throughout your facility, both employees and managers are empowered to take action to immediately resolve problems and address bottlenecks.

At CDEC we work closely with you to meet your needs using innovative and effective tools. Contact us to find out more on sales@cdec.co.uk.

www.cdec.co.uk/sectors/supply-chain/



Author: Jason Shave
Business Development Manager - Corporate

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