Since the dawn of digitalization, manufacturing industry supply chain has slowly started swaying towards the smart technologies despite facing shortages in the recent few years.
The latter half of 2021 saw the global supply chain struggle mightily. Disruptions stemming from the pandemic, labor shortages, cyberattacks, increased consumer demand for goods, and other global factors collided to cause unprecedented bottlenecks and backlogs.
According to IEEE, some experts have predicted that supply chain-related issues will persist into 2023, despite efforts from the public and private sectors to improve the situation.
In the consumer electronics industry, more than 70 percent of U.S. smartphone retailers faced shortages. The situation in the automotive industry was even more difficult.
Talking about India, many initiatives are being taken to reduce supply chain risks and challenges. This is particularly because the Indian companies have an opportunity to emerge as the preferred destination with an advanced mechanism for modern business processes and advanced supply chain facilities in different domains.
As per the Ernst&Young India report 2020, businesses are working in line with the Digital India initiative to support workers’ efficiency, productivity, and curb manpower shortage. Hence, Indian businesses are gearing up the resources and capability needs required for the “New Normal” environment.
The companies are strategically planning for a sustainable future by preparing SOPs, building human resources, adopting and switching over to advanced technologies. This approach will not only instill a logistics and supply chain mindset across states, but it will further channel constructive competition among brands to make their supply chain strategies more resilient, collaborative, and networked with consumers, suppliers, and other stakeholders.
IEEE believes that recovery from supply chain shortages has been slow because of the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic together with some changes in the workforce that resulted in worker shortages. Several technologies show promise for easing supply chain disruption. Looking ahead, modernizing the supply chain factories, ports, warehouses, etc. is a critical component of ensuring a more secure and reliable future.
BLOCKCHAIN FOR IMPROVED TRACEABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY
Supply chains are difficult to track and trace as they are complex processes, generally composed of manufacturers, suppliers, logistics companies, and retailers all working together. The implementation of blockchain technology for supply chain authentication and control will play a significant role in improving the traceability and transparency in the movement of goods through the supply chain process.
Typically, supply chains rely on time-consuming, paper-based processes that lack transparency and leave plenty of room for error. However, with the help of blockchain, businesses can create a smarter and more secure supply chain, as products can be tracked through a clear and solid trail with real-time updates and validation of information.
AUTOMATION FOR IMPROVED LOGISTICS MANAGEMENT
Experts believe that Supply chain automation is a key component of streamlining operational processes. Local, highly automated factories can help reduce the length of the supply chain. But logistics technology could also put a dent in the problem. Many companies are experimenting with platooned trucks that put one driver in control of multiple vehicles that follow closely behind. The use of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) may also reduce the stress on drivers. In the same way, automated material handling and delivery, including highly automated shipping, can also boil down the impact of the pandemic.
ENHANCED CYBERSECURITY EFFORTS TO MITIGATE SUPPLY CHAIN ATTACKS
In the past 12 months, there have been several large-scale cyberattacks against critical infrastructure, causing major disruption across the supply chain. Organizations must take the necessary steps to enhance their cybersecurity efforts and mitigate these attacks. Smart technologies like IoT can be used to check the movement and condition of products across the supply chain.
SUPPLY CHAINS WILL CONTINUE TO EVOLVE
The pandemic revealed the many vulnerabilities of the global supply chain and made the need for modernization clear. The supply chain has a long road ahead before it will be fully recovered. It will expand its roots to multiple domains with the use of AI to bring standardization and produce highly automated factories in the future.