The COVID-19 pandemic made it clear that global supply chains must be more resilient. While the temporary shortages in toilet paper may seem to be of minor importance, scarcities in medical supplies for hospital staff aren’t and they underscore a deeper challenge in today’s supply chains. Traditional supply chain management has focused on optimizing efficiencies with a just-in-time inventory framework that maintains only the stock needed to meet the current demand.
RPA is here to address risks such as these, organizations must be able to pinpoint risks and potential breaks in the supply chain before they emerge and pivot quickly to maintain operations, whether that means purchasing from another supplier, changing the products and services offered, or selling to another buyer. While nobody can predict the future with 100% accuracy, digital technologies such as RPA, artificial intelligence (AI), cloud and edge computing, IoT and blockchain can help improve supply chain resiliency.
A digital supply chain makes it easier for businesses to achieve the intelligence, agility, scalability and flexibility needed to adapt to a rapidly changing world.
For instance, Proctor & Gamble (P&G) deployed a cloud-based platform underpinned by AI and IoT to automate supply chain planning. As a result, the company was able to predict which suppliers, plants and distribution centres would be impacted by hurricanes, enabling the company to make the right decisions quickly and avoid the disruption and financial loss that other companies suffered.
This intelligence is also helping P&G plan for demand more accurately, improving productivity and operational efficiency. Recently the company reported its biggest sales increase in the U.S. in many years after rapidly mobilizing its manufacturing resources and supply chain to ramp-up production of cleaning products.
In fact, companies in the Consumer Packaged Goods industry can expect the following benefits from digitizing their supply chain, according to research by the Supply & Demand Chain Executive:
- 50% to 75% reduction in lost sales
- 30% lower supply chain administrative costs
- 30% reduction in logistics costs.
- 3% to 5% increment in annual earnings growth before interest and taxes.
Key considerations when digitizing the supply chain
- Keep redundancy in mind: Resiliency goes hand in hand with redundancy. For each point in the supply chain, plan for contingent suppliers and partners and IT infrastructure, such as applications, clouds and networks, in other geographic locations.
- Aim for agility and performance: Digitizing the buyer-supplier relationship is essential for building more robust and agile supply chains. A cloud-based digital supply chain interconnected across a rich IoT ecosystem of current and potential partners makes it easy to recruit new suppliers and IT providers, as well as automatically switch to alternative providers when regular suppliers face disruption.
- Ensure end-to-end visibility: To minimize vulnerabilities in the supply chain, exchanging data digitally is essential. Suppliers may be reluctant to share data for competitive advantage reasons, but trusted data exchange paired with blockchain can help ensure data privacy.
IntelliBuddies® - Buddies (Both Smart and Assistant) can be utilized to coordinate and gather information on behalf of an enterprise such that they can promote their products and services by digitizing the supply chain operations and in turn improve employee satisfaction, maximize accuracy and speed, maximize operational efficiency, and much more.
The smart buddies are designed to perform, it does not need any human assistance in order to execute a process. It will pickup the instance of the processes from queue and execute them accordingly to their schedule and process activities, they are also known as “Jobs”. Control Room, has job queues to distribute and prioritize jobs to be picked by Buddies based on their schedule. You can also audit the Buddies in Control Room to check whether completion of a job was successful or not. Overall, control room is where you can control all automations at one place.