How supply chain behaves from War Cry to French Fry

Imagine people craving food at a war-hit location like Ukraine and on the other hand another set of people relishing a mayo-filled juicy McDonalds burger to compliment with French fries at a fun-filled region. Supplying food to tension-driven zones and a 30-minute express delivery prompts for more challenging logistical concerns.

Challenges around supply chain management increased significantly during the pandemic. Shortages of food and other items continue as the supply chain seeks to recover from disruptions aggravated not only by the pandemic but also during natural disasters across several parts of the world.

Digitisation has effectively pushed the final pieces of that puzzle into place - and faster than anyone could have ever imagined. Digital transformation is indicating the next era in supply chain management, in which suppliers and customers are blurring the lines between the digital and physical worlds, and expunging traditional organisational boundaries.

The supply chain has become dependent on technology for warehouse management, tracking inventory and cargo, identifying bottlenecks, and real-time monitoring during transit.

Currently, supply chain management software is largely used by major businesses, which deals with multiple departments, locations and products. Nevertheless, small and medium enterprises don't have the advantage to enhance their businesses on a vast scale due to limited resources and physical reach.

SME businesses are considered to be connected more physically to the local regions than larger businesses, so whether it is a war zone or a fun-filled party, these businesses become more relevant to reach on time at the required destination. Thus, armouring them with the right set of digital capabilities must be a future vision for every country.

As per a PwC report published a few years ago, it stated, “The digital supply chain, as we envision it, consists of eight key elements: integrated planning and execution, logistics visibility, Procurement 4.0, smart warehousing, efficient spare parts management, autonomous and B2C logistics, prescriptive supply chain analytics, and digital supply chain enablers. Companies that can put together these pieces into a coherent and fully transparent whole will gain huge advantages in customer service, flexibility, efficiency, and cost reduction; those that delay will be left further and further behind.”

This ecosystem will be based on the full implementation of a wide range of technologies such as the cloud, big data, the internet of things (IoTs), augmented reality, and others. Together, they are enabling new business models, the digitisation of products and services, and the digitisation and integration of every link in a company’s value chain: the digital workplace, product development and innovation, engineering and manufacturing, distribution, and digital sales channels and customer relationship management. At the heart of all this activity resides the digital supply chain, and it is key to the operations of every company that manufactures or distributes anything.

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