Digitization in Supply Chain Management: How Big Data is Reforming Industrial Supply Chains
Comprehensive knowledge and the greatest possible transparency about supply chain operations are the basis for developing optimal and efficient strategies in supply chain management. But this knowledge is difficult to achieve with conventional methods. Supply chains are often intransparent and important information is only available to a limited extent. Digitization offers a remedy for these problems – one of the biggest challenges currently facing the industry. Central issues in the development of a “digital supply chain” are a functioning exchange of data and the implementation of more transparency within the supply chain. For example, smart sensors, blockchain technology or shipment tracking (track & trace) provide insights into logistical processes in real time. Data analytics also enables major technological advances to address intransparency in logistics.
What is Behind Big Data?
Data analysis is becoming increasingly important in many industrial sectors. The collection and analysis of data will play an increasingly important role in supply chain management in the coming years in order to increase operational efficiency and reduce costs.
The term “Big Data” refers to large volumes of structured and unstructured data that, due to their quantity and complexity, can no longer be analyzed using manual and conventional data processing methods. These volumes of data help companies gain important information. The information collected is used to improve ways of making decisions, anticipating problems, and developing new ways of doing things. The assertive application of Big Data, combined with the automation of systems and processes, is the technological key to remaining competitive and operating efficiently in the future.
Big Data and Industrial Supply Chains
Due to their high complexity and dynamics, industrial supply chains are ideally suited for the application of Big Data. This can enormously increase efficiency within distribution and logistics networks in particular. Big Data ensures that collected information is available at every stage. Collecting all data, analyzing it, recognizing patterns, and providing insights to every link in the supply chain are advances in digital supply chain management.
Improved Communication Thanks to Efficient Networking
With the help of Big Data analytics, data sharing between supply chain companies is improved, enabling easier and more targeted coordination between the companies involved. In addition, customer data helps to better control inventory planning and associated costs.
Why is Now the Right Time to Focus on Data Management?
The Corona crisis has caused upheaval in all industries worldwide. This means that companies need to be agile and fast to adapt to the demands of the modern world. Technological innovations have never been as accessible and affordable as they are today. In supply chain management, the network-based nature of the field provides a natural framework for adopting and scaling technological solutions to accelerate and make the human components of highly organized global supply chains more transparent.
The Solution to the Lack of Connectivity in Supply Chains
An important sub-area in supply chain management is the efficient organization of IBC shipments, or intermediate bulk containers. These cuboid containers are used for the transport and storage of chemicals, food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, among other things. IBCs are rarely networked in supply chains despite their central role within the delivery process. This lack of connectivity means that stakeholders do not receive information about the goods stored or moved in IBCs.
A solution to this is provided by vitreo’s IoT sensor and dashboard solution. Through vitreo, IBC measurement data such as fill quantity, location, temperature and pressure can be collected and accessed online. The network closes information gaps and thus enables the optimization of digital logistics processes to make industrial supply chains both ecologically and economically sustainable.
All Data at a Glance
vitreo‘s IoT sensor technology uses state-of-the-art technology to provide users with easy access to all data within the supply chain. The digital overview of unique IBC data, which would not be viewable without the IoT solution, is exclusively available to the user. The use of vitreo sensor technology thus leads to a reduction in costs and CO2 emissions in the supply chain as well as a simultaneous increase in overall efficiency.