A supply chain is a full path a product takes from the supply of raw materials to the end consumer. Take the device you are reading this post on. Silica, oils, gas, and a number of metals were mined, processed, and shaped into components. These components were assembled into smartphones or computers, which, in their turn, were distributed and sold in retail stores – or delivered right at your doorstep.
In order to organize and maintain supply chains, manufacturers and resellers have to juggle products, operations, people, and data. Let’s have a look at how blockchain, AR, and machine learning can streamline these processes and help them save a lot of time and money.
There’s hardly an industry today that didn’t try to embrace blockchain, but it’s a perfect fit with supply chains. Storing data in a distributed ledger is way more accurate and efficient; it improves transparency, allows to keep track of the products, and authenticates transactions with ease. Walmart, for one, already enjoys the benefits of the tech, using it to trace pork in China and produce in the US.
IoT is not new to supply chains: large companies like Amazon and Ericsson have been using it in their warehouses for almost a decade. However, paired with AR, it creates an authentic future-is-now experience. Just imagine a worker wearing a pair of smart glasses, which help them navigate around the warehouse, recognize the objects, and show live-time inventory updates. Cool, right?
And lastly, machine learning is a perfect complement to our techy trio. As wonderful as our brains are, there are just so many variables we take into account at a time. Machine learning, however, has the power to process a crazy amount of real-time data and offer perfect solutions to problems both large and small: from calculating the optimal route for the cargo to creating a full supply chain model that is streamlined to work in the given circumstances.
Which technology you believe will have the most impact on supply chains?
- Blockchain, as it makes the record-keeping easier;
- AR: it will boost visibility;
- Machine learning. We need to make better choices;
- Land your answer in the comments.