Supply chains are an integral part of today’s globalized world. It is with the help of supply chains that individuals in one country can consistently purchase and enjoy a variety of products from a variety of other countries. Though supply chains are an amazing tool that allows the world to be connected more deeply, they’re not free from issues.
The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic brought with it several issues that negatively impacted supply chains in profound ways. As a result, many items became difficult or expensive to purchase. Though this negative impact created problems, it also brought with it the opportunity to take a closer look at the weaknesses in supply chains and find ways to improve them.
New tech trends have begun to offer themselves as viable solutions to fixing problems in supply chains in impactful ways. Consumers need to have a general understanding of the state of supply chains and it can also be useful to have an understanding of the tech trends helping to fix them.
The Main Issues with Supply Chains
Before understanding how new tech trends are helping fix supply chain issues, it’s important to understand what these issues are. Some of the main issues with supply chains are:
- Shipping delays: Supply chains rely on a reliable chain of intermediaries that help move specific products along from producers to consumers. When the shipping between these intermediaries is delayed, it can cause a chain reaction that stops certain products from efficiently reaching consumers.
- Disruptions: Disruptions in the supply chain can include situations such as factory fires and other natural disasters. These disruptions have been steadily increasing in recent years.
- Negative economic impact: When supply chains are unable to function properly, it can have a devastating impact on a country’s economy. The fewer products that can be efficiently transported to consumers through supply chains, the more that prices for these goods increase.
Blockchain Technology and Supply Chains
A new tech trend that is picking up steam in the world of supply chains is blockchain technology. Blockchain technology offers supply chains the opportunity to be more transparent with their consumers, which can help to build trust. This transparency brought on by blockchain technology may also act as motivation for more people to learn about digital technologies, putting a dent in the digital divide.
In addition, blockchain can decrease disruptions in the supply chain by allowing various intermediaries to share the same platform. By allowing more supply chain intermediaries to be on the same page, the transparency afforded by blockchain can allow supply chains to run more smoothly with less disruptions.
Robotic Automation and Supply Chains
Another tech trend that is making waves in the supply chain industry is that of robotic automation. This technology allows many processes to be done by robots rather than by humans, making certain processes more consistent and efficient.
In addition to helping out in factories and warehouses, robotic automation also has the power to aid in the process of transporting goods. New technology — such as drones and self-driving vehicles — now allow products to be transported without the need for a human driver. As such, robotic automation has the power to make supply chains more consistent and efficient.
AI and Supply Chains
Believe it or not, artificial intelligence is becoming an increasingly useful tool in the supply chain industry. AI has can be utilized in several key ways to make supply chains run more smoothly.
One significant way in which AI is improving supply chains is by eliminating human error from certain tasks and calculations, thereby making some processes more consistent. In addition to this, AI technology has begun to be utilized to predict future demand for goods and products. As such, suppliers can start accruing inventory before demand reaches its peak, and as a result, can be ready for incoming trends.
Evolving Supply Chains
As the world becomes more technologically driven, so too are our supply chains. With the aid of some new and exciting tech trends, supply chains are improving their processes and becoming more efficient. As time goes on, new forms of technology will likely continue to improve supply chains in ways that have a profound impact on the ways that we consume products and goods.