Supply Chain 4.0: Science fiction or already reality?

From Christian Koch on Feb 7, 2019 5:21:55 PM

The classic and single organization centered logistic in the form of transportation, handling and warehousing services has evolved into a modern and cross-company supply chain management. The reason is: increasing demands of customers, employees and partners require that the entire value creation process has to become more reliable and efficient.

Are Industry 4.0 and digital transformation now introducing the next stage of supply chain management, or is it all just science fiction? New technologies - such as Big Data, Internet of Things and Augmented Reality - not only foster the innovation of business models, services and products. They also enable the integration and synchronization of the activities from all actors incorporated withing the whole value chain. The question, whether Supply Chain 4.0 is pure science fiction or already reality, can be answered quickly, because the technologies mentioned are already part of our current working world.

Among other things, end-to-end tracking enables the holistic transparency throughout the entire value creation process. Networked supply chain platforms become the central control and monitoring entity of the order fulfillment process and smart warehousing, which - in the form of intelligent automation of warehouse operations - leads to cost savings in logistics. It is also clear that other and more disruptive options - such as 3D printing for efficient spare parts management or even autonomous distribution - are not yet established as standards within the logistics industry. Nevertheless, this small selection of examples alone shows how digitalization is already shaping supply chain management today.

If this topic is of interest to you, we also invite you to read our page Digitalization Along the Supply Chain and also inform yourself about the success factors for the implementation of a smart supply chain. We are happy to discuss the potential offered by digitization for your logistics in a joint exchange.