Smart Tools for Unpredictable Supply Chain Events

Smart Tools for Unpredictable Supply Chain Events
By: Ara Surenian, VP, Product Management, DemandCaster, Plex

In 2022, one of the most disruptive factors was a lack of materials. Deloitte found that 62% of manufacturers have started nearshoring or onshoring production, and the Supply Chain Resilience Report found that nearly 77% of businesses experienced disruptions to their supply chains in 2022 that were caused by external factors. In any case, onshoring creation and connecting with nearby providers isn’t a possibility for each organization.

While sourcing from faraway regions may be advantageous, it can also be challenging due to the high costs of raw materials and parts production. At any time, escalating tensions between nations could set off a conflict or a blockade, destabilizing the flow of supplies and raw materials from the region. Shrewd, information driven ways to deal with resource and stock administration are vital to the progress of deft store network drives.

Examining the Unpredictability of Supply Chain and Inventory Management Today, manufacturers who must manage global supply chains cannot anticipate stable supply levels or the smooth operation of all logistics operations, unlike manufacturers who can onshore, friend shore, or nearshore. This is especially true in the geopolitical environment of today, where economic powers are in a state of tension that could escalate at any time, making disruptions improbable. Despite the fact that, depending on the region, a manufacturer’s facilities may not be shut down as a result of a geopolitical conflict, supply chain delays and trade blockages are real obstacles that manufacturers must overcome.

Natural occurrences of the weather are analogous. Natural disasters can have a significant impact on global supply chains, even though it is unlikely that a manufacturer’s facility will be destroyed by a tornado or hurricane unless it is in a region that is prone to these kinds of natural disasters. It is not impossible to predict weather, but it is much more difficult to prepare for the increasing severity and frequency of weather events.

A Smarter Approach to Inventory and Supply Chain Planning Manufacturers must enable agility and real-time data collection to generate insights into the best actions to take in any supply chain or inventory planning situation in order to ensure supply chain resilience and overcome these obstacles. Manufacturers can optimize inventory procurement and supply chain planning using smart manufacturing technologies and approaches to inventory management, which directly affects revenue generation and cost reduction.

Conventional bookkeeping sheet and paper-based approaches are basically not intended to deal with the intricacy and eccentrics of arranging tasks in the present climate. Manufacturers can enable automated functionalities that directly contribute to optimized planning by utilizing smart manufacturing technology. These automated functionalities include automated tracking capabilities, advanced analytics powered by machine learning (ML), and integrations with core manufacturing systems to seamlessly share data across the enterprise’s various systems.

Organizations will be able to generate more accurate forecasts that provide visibility further into the future and determine where inventory should be further buffered to absorb supply shocks when inventory planning is optimized with smart manufacturing technology. This makes the amount of inventory that manufacturers need to keep on hand the best it can be, which lowers the cost of storage and the chance of waste from too many or contaminated materials. By being more proactive, placing orders earlier, and developing alternate plans in the event of a disruption or delay, manufacturers are also able to overcome supply chain and logistics challenges thanks to more accurate forecasts.

Digitizing and Using Smart Manufacturing Technology for Planning Inventory and Supply Chains Smart manufacturing technology and the digitization that goes along with it make it possible for businesses to use a variety of IT and OT solutions that have come a long way in recent years. Real-time insights based on enterprise-wide data can be gathered, analyzed, and implemented with the help of technologies like machine learning (ML) and industrial automation systems.

Through the ML-driven investigation and correlation of memorable buying data, creation and stock acquisition information, organizations can streamline production network arranging activities. However, in order to provide useful insights, the data must be complete and accurate. Otherwise, the company runs the risk of acting on incorrect information, which may result in outcomes that were not intended. This risk is avoided by software for supply chain planning by consolidating all of the company’s data from various business systems and IIoT sensors into a single source of truth for analysis. This method makes it possible to manipulate huge amounts of data that would be impossible to analyze by hand. Additionally, it frees up time for human workers to address issues related to productivity and sourcing, such as coordinating operations with external partners and determining the most effective course of action for each participant in the supply chain.

Predictability will be the key to overcoming the subsequent unanticipated disruption, whether it is caused by weather or geopolitical factors. A smart manufacturing approach to inventory and supply chain planning improves predictability when properly implemented, which is essential in a world marked by uncertainty. Being able to without hesitation anticipate results by dissecting noteworthy and relevant information empowers leaders to envision production network courses of events and material accessibility all the more precisely, conveying more prominent control and results.