The Next Big Thing in Supply Chain: Predictive Maintenance?

September 29, 2018

Companies that operate with complex machinery, robotics and technology within their supply chains know that maintenance is a must-do. Continual efficient working of machines cannot continue without it. Maintenance is frequently a juggling act, trying to balance production levels with downtime and the cost of downtime.

Therefore, it’s much more efficient and effective to plan maintenance. This ‘preventative maintenance’ is undertaken with the view to reducing downtime by giving machines regular reviews and maintenance work. Read more

Why and How to Make Supply Chains Ethical with Blockchain

July 22, 2018

Blockchain may be the buzz concept of 2018 but there’s good reason for that. Technology emerges when there is a driving need. That’s what has happened here: supply chains are under immense and increasing pressure, with squeezed profit margins and performance visibility paramount. Further pressure comes from consumers themselves who now expect a radically different level of service, but also from regulators, stakeholders, and consumers again who expect a higher level of ethical and environmental responsibility. Read more

The Difficulties in Applying Machine Learning to Supply Planning

July 7, 2018

The supply chain industry has been adopting machine learning and applying it to demand planning for quite some time now. We’ve seen its success and therefore it follows that attention has now turned to using machine learning to streamline and support supply, or production, planning. However, whilst in demand planning machine learning has been relatively straight-forward, applying machine learning to supply planning is a different kettle of fish and rife with difficulties and therefore requires a slightly different approach. Read more

Additive Manufacturing and Its Influence On the Supply Chain

June 13, 2018

Additive manufacturing is a technological advancement in which computer-aided-design (CAD) software or 3D object scanners are used to create lighter and stronger parts. This technique allows precise objects to be made from a digital design with structures being created out of thousands of minuscule layers.  Within the manufacturing operation, a layering process is applied where the joining of materials required to create the object is completed layer-by-layer – this is opposed to traditional manufacturing where the material is usually carved or shaped. Read more

Modernising Third Party Logistics with Robotics Technology

June 4, 2018

Logistics is increasingly under focus in modern businesses as it is an area where real differentiation can be made. Strategic input can create efficiencies which have an immensely positive impact on customer perceptions and the bottom line. Where we are really seeing these efficiencies is in the area of automation and robotics in third-party logistics providers (3PLs). These technologies can remove manual tasks which can be slow and prone to human error. The result is improved performance, competitive advantage and increased revenue. Read more

3D Printing and Its Effect on the Supply Chain

April 27, 2018

3D printing is starting to make waves within manufacturing and production processes and it comes with its own preconceptions. We typically have in mind what we think of in terms of 3D printing. Many of us understand the basic process in terms of building layers of an object using liquid plastic which then solidifies. This has a technical term: fused deposition modelling. Others will envisage a different process – additive manufacturing – where the same layering approach occurs but this time using powdered components such as plastic or metal. Read more