There’s a lot of talk about the global supply chain, with delays causing disruptions in products and services worldwide. But, as entrepreneur Vinod Ramchandra Jadhav explains, the creation of digital supply chains will help transform the process of changing raw materials into sellable products that are shipped to retailers and distributors.
To digitize something as complex as the supply chain takes a lot of work and advanced technological tools such as blockchain, the Internet of Things, and robotics.
Here’s a closer look at the phenomenon of supply-chain digitization.
What Is It?
Digitizing the supply chain involves taking analog processes and converting them to digital ones. This is done by creating a group of dedicated data that then aggregates information across the entirety of the supply chain.
That dedicated data is then combined with information from specific external sources such as socioeconomic information, Google trends, competitor pricing, historical sales information, and consumer data obtained at the point of sale.
Benefits of Digitization
All industries across the world realize the immense benefits that digitization can provide, and the supply chain is no exception. Yet, in an increasingly complex and fast-paced world, simple tasks such as manually entering data cost companies millions of dollars a year.
Digitizing the supply chain opens up the possibilities for automation. But unfortunately, when most people think of automated tasks powered by artificial intelligence, they become afraid that computers will take the place of human jobs.
That’s simply not the case. Instead, automation reduces the burden on workers by freeing them up from menial tasks and allowing them to focus on tasks that are much more important to the company. In addition, it reduces the chances for human error, which is especially high for these tasks such as data entry.
In logistics and transportation, leaders need to make quick decisions and be agile. This is nearly impossible without a digitized system thinking ahead rather than looking back.
Analogue systems simply can’t keep up with the massive data that flows through the supply chain and is necessary for it to run. By digitizing this system, leaders can build strategies that integrate contingency plans for nearly any scenario imaginable.
What is Involved?
Digitizing the supply chain can be looked at from a very micro perspective. One company can work on digitizing its processes to more effectively and efficiently fulfil orders.
The problem with that thinking, though, is there are multiple moving parts to the supply chain. No one company — no matter how massive — has control of every aspect of the supply chain.
There’s order taking, billing, and customer service. There’s warehousing, inventory management, and order fulfilment. There’s packaging, shipping, and final delivery.
As Vinod Ramchandra Jadhav explains, the true digitization of the supply chain must be approached from a macro perspective. The supply chain must be approached as an ecosystem that involves multiple companies at multiple stages of the chain.
This is where advanced technologies such as IoT, robotics, and blockchain come in. They all enable and promote transparency, sharing information, and standardization of that information in one way or another.
When this happens, logistics can become seamless, allowing companies to be responsive, flexible, and resilient. And in the end, this enables the overall supply chain to operate efficiently — making consumers happy and making companies more money.
About Vinod Ramchandra Jadhav
A self-described first generation Entrepreneur, Mr Vinod Ramchandra Jadhav is the Chairman of SAVA Healthcare Limited, India and Managing Director of Regent Global DMCC, Dubai. With a professional career spanning more than 30 years, he is well versed in hydraulic systems, Industrial Engines, Global sourcing, Supply chain management, ERP database design, Cross Border Trade, International taxation, First-to-Market Generics & Veterinary Medicines in various capacities. Mr Jadhav holds a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering and a Graduate Diploma in Materials Management.