As our business landscape evolves and globalization expands, there are corresponding changes in the supply chain that need to be continuously optimized to ensure total costs are kept low. Since supply chain activities cross over all functional areas in an organization, new metrics must be developed to track true supply chain costs and identify the impact of new corporate strategies. Organizations that measure and benchmark these costs will have a competitive advantage.
Radio-frequency identification tags, global positioning systems, and RF/scanner technologies are now ubiquitous. The coming year will see the communication platforms of social media and cloud computing rapidly change how our supply chains are managed and facilitated. Logistics and transportation organizations will continue to blend these technologies into a new science supporting locative logistics.
Locative logistics is a scalable supply chain platform based on application programming interfaces and geographic information systems applications, which supply specific information about the physical presence, strategic importance and economic impact of products or cargo in-transit.
The technologies that will be become more prevalent this year will be GPS, iPhones/iPads, GIS, API, and Google Maps-based platforms and applications. While GPS allows for the accurate detection of a specific location, mobile devices will allow interactive data to be linked to a specific place, whether in a warehouse or on the seas. The cloud-based platform will supply augmented information about the geographical or economic situation of a location, and the product in that location.
That augmented data and information will be layered on top of ERP systems such as SAP, pinpointing the area of a global supply chain that can benefit the most from upgrades. These two new platforms will account for the financial impact on the total supply chain, not just its separate components.
Create a global fiscal visibility tool via social media and “the cloud” and, in turn, this platform will quicken cycle times and reduce inventory investment.