Supply Chain Technology and Coronavirus

Supply Chain Technology and Coronavirus


Is your company adopting new technology such as digital platforms or robotics due to Coronavirus impacts?

Last week APICS Greater Detroit hosted our Supply Chain Community Connect and Domenic Leo, Regional Manager for Geek+, shared about robotic solutions companies are turning to increase pick efficiency, worker ergonomics, etc.

Many companies are stepping up investments aimed at simplifying and speeding up their supply chain operations from robotics to digital platforms. We’ve summarized some of these activities below.

The Wall Street Journal shared last week investments companies are making to simplify and speed up their logistics operations. They shared, “Supply-chain upheaval from the pandemic is presenting the tech world with a sudden and unexpected proving ground for automation, digital platforms and other tools that had been low on the priority lists for companies’ logistics operations. From delivery software to mobile robots that help workers fulfill e-commerce orders, those offerings are drawing attention in industries where thin margins have often left companies clinging to older, highly manual operations.” Key tools to assist during the pandemic include:

  • Contactless paperwork for shippers and drivers
  • E-commerce solutions due to growth in online sales
  • Automation equipment and robotics for warehouses and factories impacted by increased demand an distancing guidelines

Per Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM), “In the age of COVID-19, building advanced supply chain capabilities is more important than ever. Customer requirements, corporate goals, market dynamics and available data are changing rapidly, and all can have a significant impact on best practices, talent and agility — especially in turbulent times.” ASCM shared four elements summarized below in the journey to acquire and master advanced supply chain planning capabilities.

  1. Building a team to support your digital supply chain. Advanced digitally enabled capabilities add value; a strong team that can maximize these capabilities takes you to the next level.
  2. Rethink current processes to gain benefits from digital capabilities. Digitization involves gaining visibility and access to operational data across the extended supply chain.
  3. Make sure you have the right data. The volume of data is growing exponentially, and the majority of this information resides within business domains.
  4. Ensure a strong technology platform. To accommodate the fast-paced, 24x7x365 supply chains of today, the platform should support rapid deployments, flexible user interfaces, agile process adjustments and scalability.

“In the age of COVID-19, building advanced supply chain capabilities is more important than ever. ” ASCM

As we all adjust to new requirements and look for technological solutions during the pandemic, know that APICS Greater Detroit is here to support you with education and networking opportunities. Partnering with CSCMP in the Detroit area, we will continue to host the Supply Chain Community Connect discussion forum to share best practices and solutions to today’s top supply chain challenges. Our next call is Tuesday, May 12th. We hope you can join us as we are all in this together!

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