One critical aspect of any business that can help organisations to completely deliver is the digital supply chain. Throughout design, manufacturing, asset management, and logistics, the digital supply chain can be deployed to play a critical role in ensuring positive customer experiences. But to get there, leading organizations are integrating the digital supply chain across traditionally self contained business areas that include R&D, manufacturing, supply chain planning, logistics, and aftersales service and maintenance.
The goal is to connect everything digitally to perfect operational reality as much possible.
Design with the customer in mind
In the design phase, companies need this level of connection to monitor trends and innovate in the direction customers want. Increasingly, organizations want to design smarter, Industry 4.0-enabled products and assets that have built-in sensors to capture real-time data once they are in use in a live environment. It’s also important to think in terms of compliant product lifecycle management – which requires product development to be integrated into the supply chain from the beginning.
Plan with visibility across silos
To be more tractable and reduce the time of planning cycles, organizations need to connect across departmental silos for a integrated view of real-time supply and demand that helps balance inventory and service levels. To speed planning cycles and react faster to change, planners want synchronized planning processes that break down silos and tools to quickly run simulations for better decision-making.
Manufacture with flexibility, speed, and efficiency
When it comes to manufacturing, sophisticated digital supply chain capabilities and greater inter connectedness, interdependent can help organizations increase shop floor visibility, identify process bottlenecks, and manage operations with greater agility. This, in turn, facilitates smart factory capabilities where rigid production lines are transformed into flexible manufacturing cells – making it possible to shift from mass production to mass customization.
Deliver on time
The delivery phase is a critical aspect of the supply chain that can make or break the customer experience. With Industry 4.0 capabilities, organizations can streamline logistics and ensure better delivery experiences. Connected vehicles, for example, can optimize delivery routes based on real-time weather and traffic conditions, support real-time tracking, and monitor conditions such as the temperature in freezer compartments. Next-generation warehouse technology, meanwhile, can leverage robots and augmented reality to assist staff, increase productivity, and get the goods to customers faster.
Operate with new business models
Finally, many organizations are revamping the operating phase with IoT-connected assets that plug directly into the digital supply chain. This helps drive new business models where the manufacturer owns the asset and charges the customer for usage, uptime, or some other metric. With such a model, the onus is on the manufacturer to provide the most-cost efficient maintenance – which is now possible with advanced analytics that help companies monitor asset health, anticipate issues, and address proactively.