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Key Technologies for Supply Chain Operations

Technology refers to the application of scientific knowledge and innovation to create tools, systems, techniques and materials. It can enhance the quality of human life and solve practical problems. It encompasses a wide range of disciplines and industries, including computer science, engineering, biotechnology and information technology. Technology is constantly evolving and has a significant impact on society, the economy and the environment. Technology plays a crucial role in modern supply chain operations by driving efficiency, visibility, cost savings, risk mitigation, customer satisfaction and collaboration among various stakeholders. Technologies like cloud-based platforms and communication tools facilitate collaboration between different stakeholders in the supply chain, improving communication and coordination. Companies that invest in technology are more likely to stay ahead of the competition and adapt to changing market demands.

Standard quality control concept

Image taken from https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/standard-quality-control-concept-m_36027715.html

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Technology

These RFID tags contain information such as a unique serial number or product information. RFID tags contain electronically stored information that can be read by RFID readers or antennas. RFID technology can help supply chain operations to improve visibility and tracking. This real-time visibility helps improve inventory management, reduce stockouts and minimize excess inventory. RFID technology allows for quick and accurate data capture, reducing the need for manual data entry and minimizing errors. This helps streamline processes, reduce operational costs and improve overall efficiency. Supply chain operators can ensure the authenticity of goods and identify any unauthorized tampering, by tracking products from manufacturing to delivery. RFID technology enables faster and more accurate order fulfilment, leading to improved customer satisfaction.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the simulation of human intelligence processes in machines, that are programmed with human cognitive functions. AI technologies include machine learning, natural language processing, speech recognition and robotics. AI can analyze historical data, customer behaviour and market trends. This can help to predict future demand more accurately, helping companies optimize inventory levels and reduce the risk of stockouts or overstock. AI-powered robots and drones can automate picking, packing and other warehouse operations, improving accuracy, speed and safety in the warehouse. AI algorithms can also optimize warehouse layout and inventory placement to maximize space utilization and minimize travel time. AI can optimize routes, predict delivery times, and monitor vehicle performance in real time. Companies can improve on-time delivery rates, reduce transportation costs and better manage their fleet of vehicles.

Key benefits by integrating blockchain and ai technologies

Image taken from SIPMM: https://publication.sipmm.edu.sg/key-benefits-by-integrating-blockchain-and-ai-technologies/

Robotics and Automation

Robotic automation refers to the use of automated machines or robots to perform tasks traditionally done by humans in a production or manufacturing setting. Robotic automation can be used in various areas of the supply chain, such as warehousing, inventory management, order fulfilment and transportation. Robots can perform repetitive tasks with greater speed and accuracy than humans, leading to faster and more efficient operations. Robots can minimize errors in tasks such as picking and packing, leading to fewer mistakes and reduced waste. Robotic automation can easily scale to accommodate fluctuating demand and seasonal variations, helping companies adapt to changing market conditions. Overall, robotic automation can help supply chain operations become more agile, responsive and competitive in today’s era with a fast-paced business environment. Companies can streamline their processes, improve efficiency, and deliver better customer service, by leveraging on robotics.

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Jolynn Koh Poh Suan
Jolynn Koh Poh Suan
Jolynn Koh has substantive years of experience in the field of logistics and supply chain operations, and specifically in international shipping and logistics for the trading and manufacturing industry. She is a member of the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM) and she completed the Diploma in Logistics and Supply Management (DLSM) on March 2024 at SIPMM Institute.

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