New Articles
  July 4th, 2023 | Written by

From Traditional to Smart: Exploring the Evolution of Supply Chain 4.0

[shareaholic app="share_buttons" id="13106399"]

Imagine a world where the supply chain poses remarkable intelligence, data flows seamlessly, and efficiency reaches unparalleled heights. Supply chain 4.0 has emerged with similar features—an evolution in logistics that has transformed it from traditional to genuinely smart. 

Supply Chain 4.0 involves a wider and more linked approach, whereas traditional supply chains concentrated largely on guaranteeing the efficient movement of goods from manufacturing lines to customers. It consists of the use of cutting-edge technology, sophisticated analytics, and digitalization to build supply networks that are incredibly effective, intelligent, and flexible. 

Industry 4.0 advantages include a more durable network and improved operational effectiveness. Companies who are prepared to use this digital innovation have transitioned from a state of crisis to agile shift sourcing and quicker production.

For instance: Accenture and Mars Inc., an international company that produces food and pet care items and the iconic ‘Mars Bar,’ are working together in the field of information technology. By merging several elements of the digital manufacturing sector, including AI, Cloud, and Digital Twin technologies, they intend to create a “Digital Factory.”

As per Future Market Insights, the global supply chain management market is anticipated to expand due to the significant expansion of industry verticals like e-commerce and retail.

Customization: Mega Trend Steering Supply Chain 4.0’s New Course

Customization is driving supply chain 4.0 into uncharted territory, revolutionizing the way of navigating the world of logistics. Surging service demands and far more intense order granularization are both results of the recent online trend. In addition, there is a clear tendency toward increased individualization and customization, which fuels the stock-keeping unit’s portfolio’s rapid expansion and ongoing adjustments. 

The rivalry in supply chains is fueled by online-enabled openness and simple access to a wide range of alternatives for where to purchase and what to buy. Supply Chain 4.0 makes product personalization and customization feasible. 

It enables automatic data intake and contextualization to anticipate and comprehend the particular preferences of clients. It uses data analytics, deep learning, and artificial intelligence to understand the demands of each consumer in terms of personalization. Via digital twins, it connects the virtual and real worlds.

Predictive Analytics, AI, Blockchain, & Robotics: Technology Titans For Supply Chain 4.0

The strength of predictive analytics is at the forefront of this evolution. Companies acquire important insights into their operations using sophisticated algorithms and data analysis, enabling them to make well-informed decisions and accurately predict future trends.

In Supply Chain 4.0, blockchain technology emerges as a pillar of transparency and trust. Blockchain guarantees safe and traceable transactions and adds a new degree of accountability and transparency by establishing an irreversible and decentralized ledger. Businesses monitor items along the supply chain, confirm their legitimacy, and increase stakeholder confidence.

For instance, Everledger has teamed up with Brilliant Earth, a company specializing in exquisite jewelry and bridal gowns made from ethically produced materials, to provide diamonds with provenance data recorded on the blockchain for online purchase. 

Cloud computing is a crucial component of Supply Chain 4.0 evolution, which supports the enormous volumes of data created and transferred throughout the supply chain. By utilizing the cloud’s capabilities, businesses can safely store and access their data from any location at any time, assuring constant connectivity and fostering cooperation across the supply chain. 

AI capabilities are further enhanced by machine learning (ML) algorithms, which also continually boost performance and efficiency. Companies are utilizing robotic technology to automate manual processes, including packaging, selecting, and assembly—increasing productivity and lowering the possibility of mistakes.

Supply Chain 4.0 Ecosystem on Logistics and E-commerce  

Transport planning is just one aspect of smart logistics, including warehouse operations. Several of the most significant changes are already happening within the warehouse. The warehouse and the consumer are now more aware of one another. Consequently, when a customer makes a final purchase, both product moves from the warehouse and product moves from the manufacturer to the warehouse are triggered.

Process improvement in the plant is also made possible by enhanced IoT data collection and analytics, allowing for quick business choices. Supply Chain 4.0 implementation in industrial facilities is often known as the “smart factory.” The preponderance of production equipment accommodates embedded data-collecting units that use RFID and automated identification and data collection (AIDC) technologies. A supply chain control tower can use the information to make decisions once it has been sent from machine to machine (M2M).

Many Supply Chain 4.0 tools are used in conventional store-based retailing. Nonetheless, the growth of e-commerce opens up more opportunities for using new technology. The fact that consumers provide electronic data throughout the purchase process is an evident characteristic of B2C commerce. 

This enables data to be gathered, preferences to be evaluated, and consumer targeting tactics to be put into practice, such as the ubiquity of pop-up ads that now follow one throughout the Internet after viewing a product in a certain category.

Revolutionary Impact of Supply Chain 4.0 on Businesses

Demand planning, sales, and operation planning (S&OP) process preparation, aggregate production planning, and supply planning are all time-consuming procedures mostly carried out manually. 80 to 90% of all planning chores can be automated with sophisticated system assistance while ensuring higher quality than manually.

A networked platform also reduces lead times through improved communication since suppliers issue warnings earlier, allowing a company to be more risk-responsive. Such closed-loop planning also incorporates pricing choices with demand and supply planning; prices are adjusted following anticipated demand, stock levels, and replenishment capacity. This increases sales and maximizes inventory.

Supply Chain 4.0 Future: A Road Ahead

The journey towards embracing supply chain 4.0 begins with aligning business goals with the right roadmap. Whether one chooses traditional approaches or delves into technological evolution, ensuring that companies’ strategies align with the desired outcomes is crucial. The key to realizing the full potential of supply chain 4.0 is to engage with businesses that have invested in building powerful data streams using AI. One can successfully negotiate Supply Chain 4.0’s intricacies and position their company for long-term success in the constantly changing world of logistics and e-commerce by carefully developing the roadmap and working with firms with the same vision.

Author’s Bio

Mohit Shrivastava has more than 10 years of experience in market research and intelligence in developing and delivering more than 100+ Syndicate and Consulting engagements across ICT, Electronics and Semiconductor industries. His core expertise is in consulting engagements and custom projects, especially in the domains of Cybersecurity, Big Data & Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, and Cloud. He is an avid business data analyst with a keen eye on business modeling and helping in intelligence-driven decision-making for clients.

Mohit holds an MBA in Marketing and Finance. He is also a Graduate in Engineering in Electronics & Communication.