Supply Chain

Building Supply Chain Resilience by Digitizing It

Monday, July 18, 2022

A general lack of digital infrastructure within supply chains allows issues that have always burdened the supply chain to persist. Global supply chains experienced troubles during Covid-19, leading companies to consider reconfiguring their supply chains to promote greater resiliency.

These issues have been exacerbated by labor shortages, changing consumer patterns and the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Moreover, the challenges highlight the importance of building a more resilient supply chain that can withstand disruptions and be capable of quick recovery.

Digitalization is critical to this. Digitizing the supply chain increases supply chain agility and dynamism so you can handle disruptions better, faster, with less complexity, and at a lower cost. 

Legacy Systems are No Match for Supply Chain Disruption

Many companies still lack end-to-end supply chain visibility and instead rely on legacy data tracking methods to make critical business decisions. These “point in time” approaches are based on outdated information from data silos. They also lack contextual information and cannot provide real-time updates that share insight into the precise state of goods as they move along the supply chain. 

Furthermore, legacy systems generally only track shipping containers rather than each individual product unit. Legacy systems are causing additional obstacles for companies and hinder their ability to achieve supply chain resilience.

Digital Transformation to Build Resilient Supply Chain

Building a more resilient network depends upon implementing the right technologies and data strategies to improve supply chain visibility and reduce uncertainties.  Through digitalization, companies can understand where waste is occurring and how it can be minimized in the future by predicting disruptions before they happen. Furthermore, companies can share real-time updates with their customers on the precise location of their products and expected time of arrival. 

Lack of supply chain transparency is one of the greatest challenges that organizations currently face. Other vulnerabilities include:

  • Lack of visibility along the supply chain ;
  • Overly manual processes, without technology ;
  • Reliance on specific suppliers or locations.

So, how can you achieve supply chain resilience — or where should you begin. Here's how organizations can digitize their supply chains to promote resiliency:

1. Predictive capabilities

Supply chain agility means being able to sense market and supply chain shifts to be able to quickly and effectively respond to potential disruptions. Data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) provide you with predictive capabilities to stay on top of supply chain risk management. Predictive analytics also helps improve supply chain visibility, allowing you to anticipate disruptions before they happen.

For example, advanced tools for evaluating inventory positioning and supply balancing options with local and global supply chain networks enable businesses to correct their supply chain before actually experiencing disruptions.

2. Improved collaboration

Building close supplier relationships ultimately enhances transparency along the chain. Supply chains have become greatly interconnected. Numerous partners and suppliers are involved at every step of the way to provide raw materials, transportation services, and more. By digitally linking all the trading partners in the supply chain, you’re in a much better position to anticipate disruptions and quickly respond to change. 

This requires technology to collect and share data at every step. For example, a peer-to-peer transaction platform allows companies to collaborate with other stakeholders on a shared platform to exchange information, source products and work together to respond to market changes.

3. Increased visibility and sustainability

Visibility means having a complete view of your inventory in motion so you can apply proactive risk mitigation measures where needed. Supply chain visibility also makes it possible to evaluate and verify partner practices in order to minimize waste, cut emissions, and reduce your carbon footprint. 

Through the use of blockchain technology and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, you achieve better visibility within your supply chain. Using blockchain, companies can trace the history of a product right from its point of origin to where it currently sits. Every time a product changes hands, the transaction is documented securely, creating a permanent history, from manufacture to sale. As a result, companies can dramatically reduce the time delays, added costs, and human error frequently associated with transactions. 

Using ERP systems provides you with a holistic, consolidated view of their entire supply chain, helping to make better-informed purchasing and procurement decisions. With ERP, companies can better identify problems or issues with their supply chain and work to find solutions more quickly.

Lastly, digital twin technology can provide an added layer of visibility to supply chains by leveraging data from vendor tracking systems, such as container tilt or temperature, to develop a visual representation of an organization’s supply chain. 

Join the AIRENC Platform Built for the Electronics Supply Chain

AIRENC is specifically built to enhance supply chain resilience in the electronic components industry. It is a peer-to-peer transaction platform that brings OEMs and EMS together to collaborate and work towards a circular economy.

The goal is to transform fragmented supply chains into agile, collaborative networks for cooperation and trading of electronic components at a fair price. AIRENC simplifies components purchasing and procurement processes, enabling OEMs and EMS companies to detect signals from the electronic components market and better anticipate their supply needs.

See what AIRENC peer-to-peer transaction platform can do for your manufacturing business. Get a free demo.

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