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Determining The Best Technology For Your Supply Chain

It’s no secret that the supply chain is changing rapidly and in a big way.

It wasn’t that long ago that it was common to have to do manual inventory counts, for example, or you wouldn’t find out about a shipping disruption until long after it had occurred. Today’s always-on tech can help your fulfillment services center reroute shipments that seem to have trouble on the road ahead, shaving days off of deliveries that would otherwise be missed.

With so much at your fingertips already, it can be hard to know what’s the next big thing you should be sinking money into in order to remain competitive.

Decisions, Decisions For Your Supply Chain Future

New and “disruptive” technologies can really give you an advantage over your competition. That is, if you choose them for reasons that make sense for your company. There’s never a single answer for an entire industry, unfortunately.

“Companies need to clearly outline the pain points they’re trying to solve with these technologies and make sure to have a phased rollout so they’re not biting off more than they can chew,” Faisal Pandit, Chief Digital Officer and Senior VP at Panasonic System Solutions Company of America, told Inbound Logistics.

How does a company go about finding their pain points? There are a couple of good ways to figure out where your worst problems are in your system. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What complaints do workers have about the processes they’re involved in?
  • Does the data we’re collecting show any bottlenecks or other anomalies?
  • Do our clients or customers frequently point out the same problem issues?

If you can clearly identify situations that could be better in your supply chain or in-house workflow, you can find an emerging technology to help solve the problem. And, as Pandit notes above, you should always phase rollouts of things of this nature to be sure they’re actually helping and not just creating a bigger headache.

Do I Need Disruptive Technologies?

The phrase “disruptive technology” may bring to mind tools that are really moving and shaking, but the truth is that they are often technologies simply built with a different outlook on the same problem as others in the market. Even so, they absolutely hold the potential to change everything about your workflow.

“Disruptive technologies are not a new concept,” Lauren Sallata, Chief Marketing Officer at Panasonic Corporation of North America, explained in a press release about a recent study involving emerging tech. “However, the ways and reasons that companies are adopting them is drastically changing. It’s no longer a nice-to-have but a must-have with a focused effort to implement and adopt. The future success of a company likely rests on the use of these technologies, and it’s a very interesting time in numerous industries to see how this is all achieved.”

Finding the best technologies for your supply chain may take a little bit more investigation than you’re used to, but at the end of the process, you’ll be glad you invested the time. Not only will your fulfillment processes work better, you’ll stress less and be able to wow the competition with how fast your shipments can go.

November 07, 2018
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