In the first part of this two-part series about Supply Chains in 2019, we looked at the political landscape shaping our supply chain world, the uncertainty we are yet to escape and the nature of labour shortages in the industry. This second part in our series looks at the trends we can expect to see continue and emerge, with a particular focus on technology, automation and robotics. Read more
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
Machine learning is providing insight and capability to supply chains in a way we could previously only dream of. Through machine learning, we are able to analyse and understand patterns which emerge, using algorithms to quickly utilise the most important data. Importantly, this process is also founded on continual improvement as the technology adapts. Patterns hold the key to business success in a vast number of ways. It can even revolutionise the way we do things. The fact that this occurs without manual input, using machine learning, is even more incredible. Read more
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
In today’s supply chains there is so much data that is generated. This data needs to be capitalised on by businesses to ensure that it is understood and used to make powerful and informed decisions that drive a company forward. Using data efficaciously means that businesses are able to move away from a traditional supply chain into a digital supply chain. Digital supply chains are leading-edge, completely integrated and are fully transparent to all involved – from the raw material suppliers, parts supplier and transporters right through to the customer whose demand is being fulfilled. Read more
In the supply chain we are, largely, at the front of the game when it comes to machine learning and artificial intelligence. Machine learning has been invaluable as we’ve begun to apply it to demand planning, and is helping with forecast accuracy.
However, supply chain leaders are now looking to use the same or similar technology, utilising machine learning and artificial intelligence, to improve the sphere of production planning. Yet this is a much harder challenge to take on compared with demand planning. Read more