Descartes Logistics Group

Descartes Logistics Group

Executive vice president, strategic development

Supply chain management is undergoing a significant shift. Companies increasingly are looking to drive revenue growth, productivity growth and supply chain predictability in their business. To achieve these goals, companies are reconfiguring their supply chains to become more agile and flexible and are demanding real-time supply chain information on inventory and other supply chain assets to make better decisions.

Driving the move to the real-time supply chain are advances in technology accompanied by order-of-magnitude price drops. Mobile worker applications, radio frequency identification tags and GPS location units on trucks can now communicate through wireless networks such as cellular, GPRS and wifi at a fraction of the cost of a decade ago. The Inter-net and advances in collaboration technologies such as instant messaging and smart Web forms make exchanging business documents and synchronizing supply chain activities with trading partners faster and more accurate than ever. Ultimately, these advances in technology are making real-time data cost-effective to incorporate into business processes.

As technology continues to move forward, more companies will seek out integrated solutions for real-time control of their supply chain activities. These solutions will go well beyond traditional point applications by combining business document exchange and mobile and wireless applications with end-to-end supply chain execution applications, such as transportation management, routing and scheduling and inventory visibility. These integrated solutions provide faster, more-accurate ways to monitor, manage and communicate across the supply chain.

Distribution-intensive companies such as consumer goods companies, retailers, direct delivery organizations, transportation carriers and third-party logistics providers are leading the adoption of integrated real-time technologies to improve supply chain responsiveness and productivity. For companies, the need for a real-time window into their supply chain world will only increase as order cycle times continue to shorten and trading partner information demands continue to increase. So watch for real-time supply chain methods to come to your supply chain.