A recent supply chain conference focused on reliability as one of the essential driving factors in the global supply chain industry today. This issue was discussed at Supply Chain and Logistics Canada's 46th annual conference in Ontario, with panelists explaining that data collection could help improve reliability in a variety of ways.
Canadian Transportation & Logistics described panelists' recommendations for making supply chains more reliable:
- Studying industry regulators and assessing whether current strategies are compliant
- Requesting more transparency from stakeholders, partners and employees throughout the process
- Utilizing tools that can help firms better manage the complexities of the global market
- Develop basic infrastructure and culture that supports reliability and other supply chain improvements
- Evaluate what is and isn't currently working throughout the supply chain
- Understand customers and how they will be affected by delays, shortages and other problems
"You try to establish a lot more transparency along the route - over the next ten years we will have to have smart technologies to make use of the increased information we have gathered over the last ten years," said Goetz Alebrand, vice president of Seafreight Logistics at Kuehne + Nagel and one of the panelists. He added, "I think there will be a lot more data integration along the chain. Complexity and information flow are keywords we would like to see in the future. There are a lot of opportunities in the international supply chain."
Mobile data collection set to become more prominent
The group also noted that these changes will need to incorporate and support mobile tracking efforts, as mobile data collection and analysis is becoming more prevalent. While automated data collection software can help organizations reduce supply chain costs, wireless data collection can further streamline efforts by making it easier for managers to track products.
Mobile will also play a more prominent role in the future supply chain because customers and workers have become more accustomed to tracking orders in real time in their personal lives. This can help companies share data so that employees can better analyze trends, communicate internally and relay delivery information to customers, explained Information Management contributor Narendra Mulani, a technology consultant with a background in data collection and analytics.
Mobile and automated data collection software can also sync directly with existing software solutions so that product, manufacturing and logistics information can be seen in real time, regardless of location. This assists with internal tracking and also supports compliance efforts because companies can make sure that product activity is always logged.