Without a doubt, an event as big and as extensive as the pandemic has posed a lot of challenges to industries of all kinds including those that make up supply chains.
In fact, in an article published by the World Economic Forum, it was noted how the ongoing impacts of the pandemic to global supply chains has led to significant changes in business environments. This includes increasing the risk of trade wars and promoting emerging trends of nationalism and protectionism, as well as affecting issues of sustainability and human rights.
Thankfully, in the face of all these challenges, there are a lot of technologies out there that are making it possible for supply chains to carry on with their operations during these trying times. Here are some of them:
As blockchain continues to gain popularity, more and more businesses are starting to explore the benefits this technology could bring to enterprises outside the legal and financial sector. For supply chains, a study published by the journal Procedia Computer Science found that blockchain could potentially put an end to the current linear economy model that spells a lot of disadvantages for sustainability and waste management. Aside from enabling the concept of a circular economy, a supply chain transparency start-up known as Provenance also found that blockchain could be used to promote transparency across the multiple stages of product delivery.
Electric and smart vehicles have come a long way. These days, they have become so advanced that they can now be included and integrated into supply chain fleets. An article on electric vehicle fleet management on Verizon Connect explains how highly advanced automobiles such as these will not only make the utilization of the latest technology seamless, they will also help reduce fuel costs, and decrease the need for ongoing maintenance. This provides an easy opportunity for companies to become even more environmentally-friendly. In fact, the Australian government has made projections on how electric vehicles will be more widely used, showing how commercial vehicles will reduce the country’s carbon footprint: “Research shows that uptake of electric vehicles, when linked to a cleaner supply of electricity, can provide emission reductions of 16 and 47 per cent in the Passenger and Light Commercial Vehicle segments by 2050”.
Of the many technologies that could improve and streamline supply chains, nothing will ever be more impactful than automation. As the Chief Risk Officer of Anvyl Bill Hobbs explained, aside from improving visibility through a single system that automatically collates relevant data, automation can also increase accuracy and the amount of time saved. This technology does this by reducing communication delays and errors common in manual processes and minimizing error, thereby giving employees more time to focus on responsibilities that are far more strategic and creative. Hobbs further noted how automation can also shorten lead times by digitizing purchase orders, auto-assigning production tracking tasks and making the transfer of shipping documents and pay invoices hassle-free.
Sustainability and environment-friendliness is more important than ever before. In order to thrive in and be ready for a post-pandemic world, supply chains have to start operating in a more resilient and sustainable way. There are many ways this can be done and one of them is through adopting clean technologies. Like Colorado based agencies, you can incorporate such technologies into key freight corridors and highway projects. Doing so will not only help reduce fuel consumption but also aid in reducing pollution and in ensuring that air quality is not further damaged as manufacturers and companies move goods.
The pandemic may have presented a lot of difficult challenges to supply chains all over the globe but it also highlighted the growing need for relevant companies to get on the wagon and start incorporating technologies into their processes.
Calliope Altman, Contributor
Calliope Altman is an online writer who specializes in covering global trends. Her main interest is how technology is changing every aspect of society.
In her free time she hikes.