In recent years, the continuous arrival of new technologies has opened up more opportunities in the supply chain. In the midst of a pandemic, let’s zoom in on two promising concepts.
Investing in specific technologies can be key to making the supply chain more sustainable. For example, data analytics can be used to forecast future demand, as well as potential supply chain disruptions. Supply chain management is too often reactive rather than proactive. Predictive analytics can enable companies to make better decisions. Based on data analysis, a buyer can decide when to place an order, with the analysis helping to determine whether the risks of sourcing based on the manufacturer’s delivery times are reasonable.
In addition to data analytics, the concept of “smart contracts” can change procurement dynamics. Effective communication is key. Smart contracts are based on the blockchain, a set of unbiased and (nearly) foolproof computer programs that form, execute and enforce agreements. For example, the parties to a supply contract want to use a smart contract. They agree on conditions, which are converted into computer code and deployed on a blockchain. These conditions can be “If you supply such and such a material of such and such quality to such and such a site within such and such a period of time, you will be paid X€ … The smart contract will execute itself once the conditions are met. The inherent nature of a blockchain, which is a sort of large distributed ledger, subject to a consensus protocol, allows for trust in any transaction. Once data has been deployed on a blockchain, it becomes extremely difficult to alter. Smart contracts ultimately bring visibility to transactions, security and efficiency by eliminating intermediaries. This would greatly improve the efficiency of the supply chain, making supply models evolve. There are many new technologies that can be used to improve these processes. At Customs Bridge, we use Artificial Intelligence to simplify customs procedures, more info on www.customsbridge.fr