Global Trends In Digital Supply Chain - 2019 Review

The landscape of supply chain management is under evolvement as it is the answer to recent development in this industry. Therefore, 2019 was a challenging year for businesses to improve their supply chain, as they try to keep up with technology evolution pace.

1. Autonomous mobile robots

The trend of autonomous mobile robots (AMR) are changing the supply chain industry even though it has not been this much widespread in the past. Autonomous mobile robots are designed to navigate in an uncontrolled environment via sensors, using artificial intelligence, 3D or 2D vision. AMRs operate for warehouse tasks, including inventory replenishment, cycle counting, and item verification.

In the past, companies used to choose automatic guided vehicle (AGV), which is a traditional mobile robot that uses wires to navigate directions narrowly. Compared to AGV, the innovation of AMR leads to the increase in its level of adoption in 2019.

Autonomous mobile robots
Autonomous mobile robots


The emergence of autonomous mobile robots in optimizing picking process has placed a question for many Logistics managers about the competition between AMR and Warehouse Management System (WMS). WMS is a system that has been playing crucial parts in supply chain management since this system plans truck schedules, case and traditional picking process. Even though AMR is easy to access and cost-saving, it will not have a large negative effect on WMS market since AMR only optimizes picking process. The solution for WMS suppliers is to integrate WMS with AMR systems.

2. Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things

A technology trend continues to grow in 2019 is the Internet of Things (IoT). The reasons for this growth are the continual development of Artificial Intelligence, availability of Internet accessibility, cheap and secured data storage. With the IoT, the supply chain industry increases delivery productivity and reduces costs while enhancing revenues. Artificial Intelligence plays a vital part in freight movement tracking. This technology continues helping manufacturers to speed up the process, save time, capital and inventory by optimizing their supply chains.

Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence


Furthermore, the AI technology can store data, analyze the patterns and predict future operation scenario. This is helpful because managers can save time and costs, prioritize strategic tasks by giving AI system the decision-making automation in low level management.

3. Cloud-Based systems

Cloud systems are replacing traditional software because it offers the same level of functionality and security while reducing the costs and customization. The market for cloud-based systems grows in 2019. There are several reasons for cloud-based product software to grow exponentially. Many companies were in hesitation to use cloud-based software as they were afraid that outside parties may gain access to their information but currently, the cloud-based systems have been proved to be reliable with its business partners.

As its reputation of safeness and trustworthiness gained, businesses start to care more about its efficiency such as: the operational costs, overall using time of the software. The users of these systems also expect a cloud-based software that can be customized according to their business.

4. Working capital optimization

As technology allows supply chain managers to fully use the capability in their processes, organizations are able to further optimize their working capital in an attempt to lower operational costs and increase its efficiency. By using AI technology to collect data, managers can detect effectively the potential false or waste of resources in their supply chain system. Machine learning also provides accurate forecasts and reports so that managers can make real-time decision, saving time and costs while enabling working capital optimization.

One software that can solve all of these constraints and optimize the use of capital is Abivin vRoute. Our proprietary Route Optimization Algorithms save supply chain companies logistics costs, automate all manual processes, and improve Supply Chain Visibility. Abivin’s Transportation Management Module helps solve more than 30 parameters, including complicated conditions such as load planning, multimodal transport, traffic and road constraints. On top of that, we utilize Machine Learning to improve the efficiency overtime by minimizing the redundancies that being overlooked before.

5. Blockchain

Blockchain technology positively affects supply chain process in giving visibility of data and information for stakeholders, providing accurate and updated information, ensure the security of all information saved in the blockchain system. The blockchain technology also evolves over time, however, many supply chain managers haven’t made use of values that blockchain technology offers. With this technology, the data that flows throughout supply chain management can make a big difference in competitiveness of an organization.

Blockchain can be considered as a distributed list of records that contains previous transactions. With the use of blockchain technology, there is no need for third parties to coordinate and verify the transactions that are already shared in data record among multiple parties in a secure and permanent way.

Not only does blockchain technology minimize logistics constraints associated with administrative processing, manufacturing, transportation management, track and traceability, customs collaboration, it also optimizes the cost and time in logistics management.



By collecting data and storing them in the systems, blockchain technology improves Traceability in Supply Chain Management. The way data are shared and stored determines a very high capability of track-and-trace. Users are able to store information of manufacturing process, the origins and management of goods. These information help companies in proving the origins and authenticity of the products as well as how it has been produced and preserved. Blockchain can store digitized real-time shipment document to enable QR code scanning and smart contracts in Logistics industry.

Blockchain allows companies to write the contract and conditions as code and distribute it via the network, and contracted parties can perform contract obligations. Once the conditions are met, the contract is automatically being executed. To apply all of the value that blockchain technology offers, Logistics companies should have a detailed plan in how to implement blockchain into its management. There are three factors that should be considered: collaborating with trusted parties to use a single blockchain solution, familiarizing organizations and contributors with blockchain knowledge and focusing on value and engagement with stakeholders on blockchain opportunities.

6. Digital twin

According to Forbes, "a digital twin is a virtual model of a process, product or service. This pairing of the virtual and physical worlds allows analysis of data and monitoring of systems to head off problems before they even occur, prevent downtime, develop new opportunities and even plan for the future by using simulations."

Basically, digital twin is the digital version of a physical system that connects the digital world and physical reality by sensors. By being synced with the real-world supply chain, digital twin improves the understanding of supply chain, monitoring risk and planning transportation. Digital twin is not only applicable for real-time product management, but also for other analysis such as: cash to serve and cost to serve analysis.

Digital twin can test product packaging before deployment and determines the feasibility of the materials. Therefore, it increases the sustainability in one-time packaging production and minimizes the detrimental effects of its production on the environment.

The use of digital twin is also applied to increase efficiency in operation management of ports. It allows intelligent decision-making by collecting data of working condition to create visibility to support the process. Digital twinning shortens time and cuts cost in loading, tracks ship movements as well as other indicators, such as: water depth level, weather condition, etc. with high level of accuracy.

It also creates an advanced delivery network by planning distribution routes and location with information details of the journey, such as: geographical data, road layout and traffic.

An example of digital twin application is Tesla, one of the innovative players in automobile industry. Tesla installs a digital twin for every car it produces. The sensors continually send signals and data back to the factory. With different identification in every car, it is easy for Tesla to identify digital twins of vehicles.

Digital twins
Digital twins


2019 comes with various trends in supply chain management. To keep up with the industry development, companies adopt new systems and integrate it with their available options. Besides using AI and IoT in optimizing work efficiency to save costs and time, organizations can cut cost with cloud-based systems and blockchain technology. Digital twinning is also a new approach of the Logistics industry evolution in collecting data and providing the future visibility.

Abivin vRoute can automatically generate optimal routes that satisfy more than 20 parameters including load capacities, multiple time windows, cross-docking, truck and bike delivery. In addition, the application provides geo-track vehicles in a real-time map, get geo-fencing alerts and mobile ePOD to update delivery progress, measure deliverymen's performance.

Click here to Digitize your Supply Chain with Abivin vRoute! 







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