Digital supply chain technologies will have a significant impact on global operations moving forward. Supply chains have suffered huge impacts during the COVID-19 global outbreak, primarily from a supply side in China and then from a demand side as other countries were impacted.
Digital technology now runs the majority of global supply chains to some degree, although may not be immediately visible to everyone. Increasing robotics, machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) are all present and here to stay and becoming more important to drive the efficiencies and control required. COVID-19 will likely provide disruption for the rest of 2020 as the new ‘normal’ becomes clear with increased e-commerce, social distancing and disrupted global supply chains as further outbreaks occur round the world.
Predictive analytics may have struggled to understand this new behaviour, but should be used on a wider basis in global supply chains to help understand and manage operations. Understanding and predicting patterns within supply chains should not be based on anecdotal ‘evidence’ or individuals experience as the human mind cannot compute the thousands of eventualities in today's inter-linked supply chains. Using years of data around all of the parties and providers in a supply chain can help to understand a likely critical path rather than what is expected to happen in a perfect world.
Understanding the likely risks will ensure that inventories can be managed more efficiently and costs minimised.
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