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Adapt to the Pandemic and Build a Smarter Supply Chain of the Future With These Technologies
August 10, 2020 Blog


For any business, the unexpected stoppage of work, production or manufacturing means a very big loss in many aspects. What happens if this interruption of operations lasts for more than a month? Companies can experience a major failure of systems or even permanent closure.

This pandemic has seen many companies around the globe face these situations – many organisations are temporarily or permanently closing due to the restrictions governments have set in their respective countries. Others have been able to take the challenge in their stride. Some have taken this opportunity to upgrade and improve their means of operations in order to adapt to the extensive changes in how we all work and communicate.

This whole situation has highlighted the greater need for enterprises to integrate technology into larger aspects of the business. Various technologies should be deployed, utilised and optimised in a holistic manner so that the business is able to run in a smarter, more efficient way and be prepared for future challenges and growth. Manufacturing and industrial industries should especially consider this transformation to avoid unforeseen disruptions in the supply chain.

Industry leader IBM believes that today’s supply chain operations must be dynamic, responsive and interconnected to an organisation’s ecosystem and workflows. IBM envisioned what it calls “the smarter supply chain of the future” and companies can achieve this by implementing several technology services from IBM, such as automation, artificial intelligence, analytics and cloud computing.

For instance, using the IBM Watson IoT Platform, organisations can securely connect, manage and analyse all of their IoT data – which is becoming an increasingly crucial element within the supply chain. Businesses can also govern applications and devices within an IoT ecosystem including; usage and performance patterns, anomaly detection and data and transaction validation. With this, the supply chain will be connected – not just customers, suppliers and IT systems in general, but also parts, products and other smart objects used to monitor the supply chain.

In a world where many things are interconnected, the ability to effectively leverage the data generated is absolutely vital. Analytical tools like IBM SPSS Statistics can deliver a robust set of features that lets your organisation extract actionable insights from such data. This empowers businesses with a better understanding of their data and their employees can utilise this to solve complex business and research problems through a user-friendly interface.

Remote operations are also now imperative for enterprises to continue and with IBM cloud services, businesses can scale and migrate their processes through the cloud. Cloud computing enables companies to reduce costs on IT infrastructure, access data from virtually anywhere and improve workforce productivity.

IBM Business Automation Workflow is a software that combines business process management and case management capabilities in a single integrated workflow solution. It can be used to unite information processes, providing users with a 360-degree view of work to help drive more successful business outcomes. In addition, it offers integrated process and case management, which will allow companies to gain benefits such as improved customer service, enhanced decision making, manageable initial start-up costs and self-service portals.

On top of all these technologies, there needs to be a reliable artificial intelligence platform that can provide businesses with the confidence that can only be achieved through data-driven insights. With IBM Sterling Supply Chain Insights, they can capitalise on AI to optimise supply chain performance and visibility in order to build a more intelligent, demand-sensitive and customer-centric supply chain.

The fact of the matter is that many supply chain organisations are using systems that were built for a different era, before the explosion of data and the advent of IR4.0. As an important part of their digital transformation journey, such businesses have to be able to make sense of an overwhelming amount of data scattered across different processes, sources and siloed systems.

All these mentioned technologies ensure a comprehensive approach in fully adapting to any kind of unexpected events and mitigating the disruption of the supply chain. It will also enable supply chain organisations to gain deeper visibility, optimise collaboration and in the long run, increase efficiencies and reduce costs.

Learn more about what other technologies IBM can provide to help you build a smarter supply chain of the future by clicking here.