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Using technology to improve supply chain management

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While staying ahead of the technology curve is not always easy, using technology to improve supply chain management is an incredibly effective strategy.

How to improve the transport of goods?

One of the most critical aspects of supply chain management is the transport of goods. Tracking every package throughout the entire supply line is now done with improved software applications.

Computerized shipping and tracking provide a full overview, consequently integrating all operations using a single platform. Now that it can be used on mobile phones, it allows more flexibility to supply chain managers worldwide. Managing shipping, distribution, and creating a bill of lading were all processes usually done from the office. Now, new software delivery methods make it easy, saving both time and energy. You can do everything in just a few clicks, no matter where you are.

Using the full benefits of drones

Drones have been a hot topic for a few years now. In the supply chain, they were mostly used for taking a package from one place to another. However, if you wish to improve supply chain management, you need to think outside the box.

Because of their safety, efficiency, accuracy, and environmental benefits, drones can be used for more than delivery.

Using telematics technology

Tracking a fleet of vehicles is now made simple with the help of telematics technology. Using a single platform, a supply chain manager can access data about all vehicles, road conditions, drivers, and much more.

Implementing this technology will help reduce the transport time and costs and increase driver safety. Furthermore, it directly affects customer satisfaction, as it will minimize delivery issues caused by unpredictable delays.

Warehouse control systems

Warehouse management plays a crucial role in the supply chain. All packages must be in their place, easily accessible for pickup and delivery. An advanced warehouse control system will help automate a considerable number of processes, help maximize storage capacity, and increase warehouse workers' safety.

How can radio technology help the supply chain?

An order in transit needs to get to its destination quickly and without delays. A lost product, a missed delivery deadline, or any other irregularity drastically affects your communication with the customers and your brand name.

Radio Frequency Identification technology allows for better communication between all included parties. It is useful both for the production and supply channels. By placing a small chip on a product, you can quickly detect any possible issues and correct them before it is too late.

Improve your package weighing tools

A half-loaded truck can turn into a massive loss of time and money. Some companies still use outdated scales on their vehicles. To improve supply chain management, you need to start using the good stuff! Onboard truck scales help maximize the load of the truck, from the loading process to the delivery. Besides ensuring that the trucks are fully loaded, these scales also protect the cargo and the driver, not allowing any overweight issues.

Analyse data to improve the supply chain management

With the help of all the strategies mentioned above, supply chain managers gather a lot of useful data. All applications and advanced technologies offer an easy-to-use environment that has strong reporting features. This information should be analysed to look for any potential weak spots that need work.

Furthermore, it will help get the full insight into employee operations, equipment statistics, production and delivery processes, and finally, customer relations. It does require a team of people to manage all this data and get something useful at the end, but it's a massive advantage if you manage to do it.

Hand-held devices are a huge advantage

If we look at major retailers, like Walmart, for example, you will see that their employees use a lot of hand-held devices to help them in their daily activities. Furthermore, even the customers can use these devices to scan items before getting to a register or a self-checkout.

These devices allow mobility, so the user does not have to be bound to a location. This is especially important in the supply chain management process. For example, a warehouse manager cannot run to the office every few minutes to check existing package data or add new data to the system. Using a tablet or a specialized hand-held device, they can freely go anywhere in the area and still access or modify everything.

The value of technology can be seen in other industries as well

If you are looking for more proof that using technology to improve supply chain management is an efficient approach, we can see many examples in other industries. We already mentioned retailers like Walmart, and another example would be the moving industry. Tracking a moving truck from start to finish, monitoring what goes in and out of storage, or even making a checklist to make sure all boxes are packed are features that make companies like leaders in the business.

Using technology for running any type of business has proven beneficial many times over.

The key takeaways for using technology to improve supply chain management

Let's do a quick summary of the most efficient ways to use technology to the advantage of your company:

  • use technology to track the transport of goods
  • get real-time data about all vehicles, delivery times, and potential problems
  • better warehouse organization
  • data analysis allows you to find weak spots in the business and work on improving them
  • mobile devices allow both employees and customers to have a full overview of their activities

As you can see, by using technology to improve supply chain management, you are not only providing a better service to your customers but also allowing your business to compete with the rest of the market on equal or even better terms!

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