There has been no shortage of supply chain challenges for manufacturers in recent years. Rising consumer demand is just one example — last year in the U.S demand surged 15%, contributing to the overwhelming of a system that operates primarily with physical documents and siloed data. The resulting bottlenecks slowed the flow of goods, caused disruptions, and ultimately exposed vulnerabilities in the global supply chain that manufacturers are now looking to address.
Modern supply chain problems require modern solutions — and those modern solutions are coming in the form of Industry 4.0 Smart Manufacturing technologies.
Modern Supply Chains, Modern Supply Chain Solutions
Complex global supply networks, volatile customer demand, labor shortages — whatever the contributing factors to backlogs and bottlenecks, businesses can successfully navigate these challenges by integrating the latest Industry 4.0 technologies.
Modern supply chains leverage Industry 4.0 solutions to deliver on supply chain visibility, predictive and proactive resolution of issues, and overall optimization of supply chain operations for maximum efficiency, agility, and productivity.
Here are some of the Industry 4.0 Smart Manufacturing technologies manufacturers are using to address supply chain needs:
- Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) - IIoT is a critical component of Smart Manufacturing, linking systems, machines, devices, and people together into a connected network that enables realtime monitoring of assets and processes. This interconnectivity is the foundation that enables better supply chain planning, control, and optimization.
- Advanced Analytics - Applying advanced analytics to the mountains of manufacturing data collected by IIoT sensors is what produces the visibility and the insights required to optimize end-to-end supply chain operations and the productivity of individual assets. Data can be leveraged in realtime, helping manufacturers to solve problems quickly as they occur, and revealing blind spots such as a weakness in a distribution network or elsewhere in the extended supply chain.
- Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning - AI and ML are game-changers for manufacturers, transforming supply chain optimization by creating fully or semi-automated processes. The optimization capabilities of AI deliver on higher quality, lower costs, improved productivity and throughput, and increased safety. ML can predict equipment failures before they occur and schedule maintenance, reducing downtime. By analyzing huge data sets quickly, AI can provide timely guidance on inventory management, warehouse efficiency, and delivery targets, helping to reduce dependency on manual efforts that can slow operations.
- The Cloud - Cloud computing facilitates data storage, integration, and information sharing end-to-end across the supply chain. With cloud-based solutions, manufacturers can track materials and get realtime status updates. Contextualized data, insights, processes, and activities can be shared and accessed by multiple supply chain partners across multiple devices.
- Supply Chain Management Software - Supply chain management software has become more complex, allowing manufacturers to have advanced visibility and unprecedented traceability across supply chains. An ideal supply chain management platform leverages the best of supply chain data analytics so that manufacturers can stay ahead of issues, spot areas for improvement, easily make adjustments, automate processes, and communicate across a variety of supply chain channels.
With the shifting demands and uncertainties of today’s world, the top priority for manufacturers has to be managing unpredictability to maximize productivity — and successfully managing supply chain unpredictability becomes a whole lot easier with the modern technology of Industry 4.0.
Supercharge Your Supply Chain With Industry 4.0 Smart Manufacturing Technology
By leveraging Industry 4.0 Smart Manufacturing technologies, organizations can address supply chain needs in a more efficient fashion, making quicker, data-informed decisions that save time and money, while increasing reliability and reducing waste.
ThinkIQ is the revolutionary manufacturing data platform that transforms companies into Industry 4.0 Smart Manufacturing firms, guiding manufacturers along a 5 stage path. With incremental changes an organization can transform their efficiency and agility dramatically, fulfilling the promise of Industry 4.0. A Smart Manufacturing organization can trace a product from supply chain through manufacturing and delivery, all on one screen in any location. Data that was unused is not only visible, but connected to proactively inform you of both problems and opportunities. And you have a significant advantage over your competitors, in resiliency, speed, flexibility, safety, and product costs.
While ERP, MES, MOM and others were a first step to connecting data, they do not create truly connected, truly maximized Industry 4.0 manufacturing systems. In fact, until recently no platform has implemented traceability and supply chain data analytics that deliver proactive, actionable end-to-end insights from the petabytes of manufacturing data created daily. ThinkIQ is the next-generation platform for modern, optimized manufacturing.
Enhance your supply chain management for the modern era — Contact a ThinkIQ expert today for more information on how our Transformational Intelligence platform can help elevate your manufacturing enterprise to Smart Manufacturing status. You can also download our new eBook, “Using Computer Vision to Fill Manufacturing and Warehousing Blind Spots with Actionable Data” to learn how to gain greater visibility into your manufacturing process.