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Smart Supply Chain Management and Logistics 4.0

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[Washington State - Forbes]


- Supply Chains

A supply chain (SC) is the process of getting goods from manufacturing to consumption. It includes the following steps: 

  • Gathering raw materials
  • Production
  • Transportation and distribution
  • Delivery to the customer

Supply chain management is a system that includes procurement, logistics, marketing, and operations management. It's a linked set of resources and processes between multiple tiers of developers. 

The COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022 caused global supply chains to slow down in 2021. This led to worldwide shortages and affected consumer patterns. 

The future of supply chains: Digitization and AI will enable end-to-end transparency and faster decision-making. 


- Integrated Logistics

Integrated logistics is a business model that involves coordinating all departments, processes, and resources in a supply chain organization. The goal is to work towards the same objective, such as accelerating product delivery and improving customer service. 

Integrated logistics involves:

  • Production: Planning production, optimizing material supply flows, and organizing storage areas
  • Supply: Selecting and controlling suppliers, and planning purchasing
  • Marketing: Defining services, designing packaging and marketing campaigns

Integrated logistics can also include: 

  • Analyzing and modifying procedures
  • Implementing all human and material means to provide the best logistical service
  • Managing accounts receivable by invoicing customers, following up on payments, and referring collection services


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[Sandavágur, Faroe Islands - Civil Engineering Discoveries]

- The AI Supply-Chain Revolution

In recent years, supply chain management has become more challenging. Longer and increasingly interconnected physical flows reflect the growing complexity of the product mix. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened market volatility and heightened the need for agility and flexibility. Growing concerns about the environmental impact of supply chains are triggering regionalization and process optimization. As a result, companies and stakeholders are paying more attention to supply chain resilience.

Artificial intelligence (AI)-based supply chain management solutions promise to be powerful tools to help organizations meet these challenges. 

An integrated end-to-end approach addresses opportunities and constraints across all business functions, from procurement to sales. AI’s ability to analyze large amounts of data, understand relationships, provide operational visibility, and support better decision making makes AI a potential game-changer. 

However, getting the most out of these solutions is not just a matter of technology. Companies must take organizational steps to extract the full value from AI.


- Logistics 4.0

Logistics 4.0 is synonymous with the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0). Logistics 4.0 is influenced by Industry 4.0 - the transformation of the economy towards digitalization. Supply chain management is complex and dynamic, and the use of digital technologies can create visibility and improve performance throughout the value chain. 

When using solutions such as data analytics, automated sorting, picking and packing, and drones to check inventory, companies can streamline processes and predict disruptions to manage. The digitization of supply chains can not only help reduce efficiency, but also reduce the environmental impact of the logistics industry.


- Smart Supply Chain Management

Successful supply chain management depends on the timely execution of every function in the process - from raw material delivery to manufacturing to warehousing and ultimately delivery to the customer. It also requires that any changes or delays to a part of the process be communicated quickly so that it can be delivered to customers as promised. 

Smart supply chain management introduces Industry 4.0 technology solutions into every link of the logistics chain. It allows businesses to collect and organize data to drive insights, integrate intelligent solutions and automate activities. This helps maximize cost savings, increase productivity and ensure customers always receive their orders on time.


- Logistics 4.0 and Smart Supply Chain Management

In this hypercompetitive world, the need for businesses to deliver more for less whilst meeting an increase in consumer expectations is ever more challenging. The Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) comes with its technological advancements such as IoT, drones, 3D printing, and a plethora of other solutions aimed to increase visibility and accountability.

Logistics 4.0 and Smart Supply Chain Management are at the heart of addressing these challenges through a combination of cross-industrial methodologies. Organizations will need to become more innovative if they are to manage the complexity of today’s environment and succeed in creating more value for their stakeholders. 

Smart supply chain management concern the various aspects of end-to-end logistics and supply chain management in the context of Industry 4.0, the Internet of Things, cyber-physical systems, emerging technologies, advanced data analytics and (semi-)autonomous decisions enabled by AI.


[More to come ...]

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