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  July 13th, 2023 | Written by

The Future is Here: How Supply Chain 4.0 is Shaping the Logistics Landscape

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In the competitive business landscape, achieving logistic performance is crucial for survival and profitability. To thrive in the market, companies are adopting Supply Chain 4.0, which involves leveraging Industry 4.0 technologies to design, plan, and optimize their supply chains. The transformation uses advanced tools: data analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. These tools address key challenges. They maximize customer service levels by minimizing stock inventory and disruptions in production lines. How? Through intelligent production capacity allocation, job order scheduling, and equipment maintenance planning.

Let’s follow the line of Supply Chain 4.0 and navigate the key concepts shaping the future of the logistic landscape and effective supply chain management.

Supply Chain 4.0: Paving the Way for “Automagic” Processes

The automotive industry is speeding toward adopting the latest technology and improving logistics capabilities to create better monitoring systems and interconnection. Here, BMW emerged as a splendid example. 

Oliver Zipse, the production board member for the BMW Group, previously mentioned the necessity of transparency in logistics. With 1,800 suppliers shipping 30 million components daily and 7,000 sea freight containers, this product flow’s planning has aspired to be even more transparent and self-sufficient. A private cloud for efficient track-and-trace, sensor-based readings to link materials to IT platforms, and even data goggles are some of their advances.

Automation and technology are setting exceptional standards in the logistics landscape. We can now place orders using flying drones owing to technology. In fact, trucks are already autonomous. More effectiveness, efficiency, and agility are being added to create smart, connected logistics that align with the demands of a linked, real-time economy.

Thinking Inside the Box: Cracking the Code with Smart Planning

Participants in the supply chain see inventory levels, demand, and consumption trends in real time due to blockchain technology. All the key stakeholders agree that supply chain management and logistics routing can be automated using blockchain technology, artificial intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT). 

Faster logistics routing is a key element of an extension of Supply Chain 4.0. The entire operation and work processes are streamlined with minimal manual intervention and increased productivity by enabling semi-autonomous decisions, self-driving cars, edge computing, maintenance of logistical assets, ensuring multiple logistics use cases, and deploying solutions specific to the point.

Modernizing your warehouse is crucial for smart warehousing. A technologically sound framework known as a “smart warehouse” is used to simplify inbound logistics, inventory management, and outgoing logistics. It includes workflow automation, reliable analytics, and IoT-driven devices. Businesses build a more responsive, effective, quick supply chain by incorporating smart technology across the warehouse value chain.

Also, exoskeleton utilization will significantly influence warehouse efficiency, and advanced robotics systems have evolved for better case and single-piece picking. The automation of warehouses as a whole becomes considerably more comprehensive, and some warehouses are fully connected to production loading points, allowing the entire process to be completed without human interaction.

Logi-tech Wave: Key Technological Advancement in Logistics

The Internet of Things (IoT) enables machine-to-machine (M2M) communication between smart devices and the Internet so that they can exchange important data and information with one another and with other distant digital platforms to support real-time decision-making by users or other smart devices. 

Cabs, railroads, cargo ships, and other vehicles all have sensors built in that are connected to alarm systems or dispatchers that are tracking and monitoring. The crew receives insights from these sensors once they analyze and send the information.

Modern software and internet developments have made it simpler for clients to access shipment and tracking systems around the clock. This enhances the customer experience and helps the business save money and time. It improves usability and enables monitoring.

Moreover, RFID technology has been utilized for a few years to track inventories in enterprises. A tag or sensor is attached to the product, and radio waves are broadcast to a location where the corporation can collect and process the data. Barcodes and RFID tags are comparable, but companies prefer RFIDs for quicker data processing and delivery times.

It used to be normal practice to print off directions from computers before leaving the house. Yet in the modern world, GPS has become the preferred navigational tool, whether through cell phones or built-in automobile systems. Businesses involved in the supply chain have benefited from the dramatic increase in GPS device accuracy. With improved precision, GPS promotes higher productivity and customer satisfaction by effectively tracking truck positions and giving users access to real-time traffic data.

Logistics Goes Green

As production and manufacturing activities grow, addressing environmental concerns has become paramount for consumers and businesses. Within the logistics sector, there is a pressing demand to mitigate ecological impact. With transportation accounting for a significant 17% of global greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), it is urgent to transform this industry to avoid becoming the highest-emitting energy sector by 2050. 

Recognizing the importance of sustainability, the logistics industry is taking proactive steps to adopt environmentally friendly practices. Embracing electric vehicles, reducing waste generation, and enhancing supply chain transparency are just a few innovative approaches being implemented. 

These efforts contribute to reducing carbon emissions and drive positive change throughout the supply chain. By prioritizing sustainability, the logistics industry is reshaping its operations and paving the way for a more environmentally conscious future.

The Future Unboxed: A Road Ahead

Companies that seize the opportunity to embrace Supply Chain 4.0 and become early adopters stand to gain a formidable advantage in the competitive race toward Industry 4.0. By doing so, they not only position themselves as industry leaders but also have the potential to shape and influence technical standards within their respective sectors. However, the benefits of Supply Chain 4.0 extend beyond mere operational efficiencies. Organizations need to consider aligning or partnering with technologically advanced Supply Chain 4.0 providers to fully leverage the potential of digital supply chain solutions and unlock greater efficiencies. By embracing transformative power, companies can establish a strong foundation for sustainable growth and remain at the forefront of innovation in their industry.

Author 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.