Over the past ten years, businesses around the world have been analysing and making changes in their supply chains to stay competitive in the market. Technology and the 4IR have presented supply chains with many challenges and opportunities, such as rapidly changing consumer preferences and new technologies to streamline processes. We look at some important aspects businesses will need to consider if they want to survive the supply chain of 4IR.
While many people are under the illusion that if we have more technology, automation and robots involved in supply chains, there will be less need for human employees. This is, in fact, not true. What there will be a need for is new skill sets, presenting opportunities for businesses to up-skill their employees as well as take on new ones. Previously, having superior engineering, financial, management and process control skills was enough, but this has since changed. To stay ahead and remain competitive in today’s market, business acumen, collaboration, sales, marketing and the foresight to understand the evolution of technology are required. If businesses want to succeed, they will need to embrace a new mind-set and obtain a new set of mission-critical skills.
The New Normal Supply Chain
4IR is already upon us and we are feeling its impact in all areas of our lives, just as businesses in all industries are too. Which is why they cannot put off the introduction of technology any longer. When it comes to supply chains, this means embracing the power of algorithms, building systems that listen and seek our business insights and investing in an intelligent system that streamlines processes, acts and responds in real-time. Evolving and transforming through digitization will become the new normal for supply chains.
The Opportunities 4IR Offers
While 4IR might present many challenges to existing supply chains, it also offers a number of opportunities. The new technologies we have seen emerge and the advancements we can expect in the future are totally transforming the way we do things. It is easier to manage your supply chain, keep track of your merchandise, update customers and be more intelligent than ever before. Digitization has also meant that there is less need to have paper trails of everything, which is great for our environment. In making the most of technology the 4IR brings, supply chains will be able to offer new levels of performance and value-creation. In fact, McKinsey has predicted that adopting new Supply Chain 4.0 technologies has the short-term potential to increase the effectiveness of supply chains to reduce operational costs by 30%, whilst also cutting lost sales and inventories by 75%.
TSI Central Station’s technology can give your business the tools and expertise it needs to thrive in the 4IR. Visit our website at www.centralstation.co.za to find out more.