Smart Supply Chain
At a glance
In Industry 4.0, the Smart Supply Chain helps to digitally monitor a wide variety of processes and flows of goods - with the aim of increasingly automating these processes. It is conceivable, for example, that thanks to a well-established Smart Supply Chain product, the optimal transport route through production could automatically be taken without human workers having to plan it before. Later delivery, including scheduling, could also be planned and carried out automatically by a smart supply chain product if the overall system is structured accordingly.
Smart Supply Chain and IoT
Automation in connection with production, logistics and delivery is in many aspects dependent on the technical basis being developed accordingly. This means, among other things, that the entire system must be equipped with networked sensors at the right places, which can, for example, clearly trace the flow of goods within a production plant at any time. It is also important that peripheral information such as the time of delivery of raw materials by a supplier or the availability of storage space is available to the overall system. The Internet of Things offers many possibilities to link devices and systems with internal and external company information in order to create an overall picture that is as detailed as possible. This gives Smart Supply Chains all the information they need for precise planning and smooth processes.
Big Data and the Smart Supply Chain
For the smart supply chain to work efficiently, it must have access to all relevant data: What is needed where and when? Big Data provides a solid technological basis for continuously collecting data from production and logistics and helps to prepare it for the Smart Supply Chain.
Advantages of smart supply chains
A regular supply chain requires a lot of planning and is difficult to set up precisely enough to ensure that production achieves maximum efficiency. The intelligent supply chain works more precisely, optimizes itself and makes production processes more transparent.
A Smart Factory is only really efficient if all systems interact perfectly. And this also includes optimizing the supply chain. An intelligent, automated supply chain can meet the requirements of the Smart Factory and thus help it to achieve even greater efficiency in production, for example, by always having the right raw materials and components available at exactly the right time or by reordering materials in good time and automatically including factors such as delivery bottlenecks by the supplier.
The smart supply chain not only uses data to adapt its way of working to current needs: it also provides valuable insights into the processes that take place daily in production. For example, they can help to make supply chains traceable in every detail. This helps to better understand the process and identify bottlenecks.
Integration of suppliers and customers
Suppliers and customers are also part of the value chain. With smart supply chains, these parties can also be integrated even more closely into the value chain, e.g. to optimize delivery times or automatically secure the supply of materials.