• Supply Chain

How Can a Mobile Supply Chain Optimize Industries for Today?

Written by Elias Schoelmann
October 7, 2020


  • Multiple industries face historic supply chain challenges, now amplified by pandemic conditions. Healthcare, chemical and oil sands are especially hard hit.
  • New supply chain challenges include unreliable suppliers, shortages and surge demand.
  • Embedding visibility and efficiency throughout your operation will help optimize your supply chain for challenges of today and tomorrow.

Companies must prioritize mobility solutions that increase inventory visibility and optimize supply chains.

Companies must prioritize mobility solutions that increase inventory visibility and optimize supply chains.

The recent pandemic has uncovered key areas of weakness and poor design across supply chains. Companies in multiple verticals have had to adjust to unreliable suppliers, stockouts and surge demand. Quick and urgent strategy changes have been required.

As our supply chains continue to evolve and grow more complex, the need for supply chain optimization becomes more urgent. Mobilizing supply chains with automated data collection and mobile barcoding is one avenue to help achieve this crucial optimization.

Efficiency in Industry Supply Chains

Making the supply chain more efficient remains one of the biggest objectives—and challenges—for companies today. But warehouses are complex and fast-paced. Material movements become increasingly difficult to manage as customers expect products to be delivered as quickly as possible.

Mobile automation technology, like mobile barcoding, can make it easier for organizations to collect and analyze data. Automating data collection at each checkpoint in the supply chain process can help companies build efficiency and accuracy. Both are essential to becoming more agile and resilient. All these benefits improve relationships with customers and supply chain stakeholders.

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Mobilizing Supply Chain Infrastructure in Healthcare

Many healthcare providers and hospitals already integrated mobile data collection or barcoding scanning in their supply chains. The cost savings are leading to more deployment throughout the sector, especially for re-stocking in the field.

Offline field mobility brings VMI and consignment inventory for hospitals into the modern era by maintaining material records for ERP software.

Automation improves efficiency and cuts costs. It also helps hospitals stay on top of crucial stockouts during these times of increased stress. The accuracy gained by squeezing out human error can even help providers maintain compliance with item master and contracted rates.

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Reducing Inventory Overstock in Chemical Industry

Automated data collection technologies like mobile barcoding can help healthcare companies avoid stockouts and meet demand surges.

Automated data collection technologies like mobile barcoding can help healthcare companies avoid stockouts and meet demand surges.

Meeting demand increases with consistent reliability is a top priority for supply chain managers in chemical manufacturing. Reducing inventory overstock is another.

Exacting oversight over chemical and chemical compound storage is mandatory to ensure proper storage safety standards are met. This includes making sure certain combustible chemicals are never stored next to one another. But with manual processes, safety risks remain due to the possibility of human error.

Mobile supply chain solutions can help improve material oversight by providing always accurate data on products in real time. High levels of data granularity can be tracked, including lot or serial number, or raw and WIP materials. Optimizing count levels with technology is essential to meet changing or growing capacity. Meanwhile, overages and wasted storage space are reduced.

Automation can be used to intelligently direct workers to appropriate and safe locations for inventory put away. This way, chemicals that could potentially interact do not get stored together.

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A Mobile Supply Chain in Oil Sands Industry

The oil sands industry faces significantly declining revenues. To survive, oil companies must find ways to reduce overall spend. Managing expensive equipment and worker productivity is paramount to streamlining operations.

However, because these operations are vast and often remote, managers must oversee multiple vital supply chains. These include construction inventory, inbound materials, outbound materials and emergency supplies, as well as consumables and spare parts. Maintenance is often required for remote locations or in areas with limited connectivity, as in certain drilling operations.

Exacting oversight and control over inventory and equipment is critical. Ensuring available spare parts for maintenance equates to uptime. Uptime equals revenue. Meanwhile, real-time material visibility leads to minimized production and productivity waste. Never lose an expensive piece of equipment again.

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Mobile Data Collection for MRO Inventory

Managing MRO inventory is key to bringing down current costs. For asset-heavy companies, preventing excessive future spend from lost, wasted, or over-stocked materials is often overlooked.

With mobile automation, asset utilization and tool check-in/check-out is always accurate and up-to-date. You always know if you have the spare parts or consumables for scheduled maintenance on hand. In the event of unexpected downtime, rapid insight into the closest available materials to repair the equipment can save thousands.

A truly mobile supply chain can jumpstart your digital journey into modernization. MRO is no exception. Mobilizing your workforce lends high levels of control and oversight for spare parts and consumables inventory. From there, it is possible to extend the benefits of mobile inventory management to manufacturing materials, asset tracking and more.

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This year is bringing new challenges for each industry. For many, it’s exacerbating historic problems with inventory visibility and overly complex supply chains.

Companies must pivot operations to meet today’s demands. This includes keeping supply chain optimization at front of mind.

Embedding visibility and efficiency into your operations should be a priority now. Mobilizing supply chains that leverage barcode automation and real-time data collection can help companies achieve resilience quickly and with fast ROI.

A more efficient, agile supply chain also supports future profitability, regardless of what tomorrow brings.