Global Trends in Digital Supply Chain - 2017 Review

December 4, 2017

With the end of 2017 approaching, we can all reflect on a year subjugated with isolationism dominating the agenda that leaves supply chain managers operating in a period of real doubt. The coming year will see several encounters for supply chains, and new traditions of working with business essentials that experts will have to change to [1]. There will, however, also be innovative and evolving technologies inward bound the market to challenge them.

 

1. Big data brought visibility and forecast capability

 

As supply chain managers ascent to wrap their arms round the reams of big data now at their fingertips, a rising number of makers are making the task more controllable and beneficial [2].

Source

 

Big Data is an expression used to represent an enormous volume of both structured and unstructured data that is so big it becomes hard to process using old database and software methods. Well-defined as the gigantic volume of structured and unstructured data that cannot conceivably be handled using old software or database tactics, Big Data is touching every corner of the supply chain world. It is no surprise, really, knowing that more data has been made in the over the last few years than in the whole history of the humanity [2]. In 2017, roughly 1 MB of new information was made in every second by humans. That's not all, spending on big data technology is also reaching $57 billion this year. More information has been changed into actionable understandings that aid drive operative proficiency across supply chain.

 

When talking about Big Data in the supply chain, Walmart is the giant people have in mind. Every hour, Walmart customers’ transactions provide the company with about 2.5 petabytes of data. From this data, Walmart will determine valuable keywords for online retail, target marketing campaigns, and decide which products to sell, and which to lose.

 

2. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence are essential

 

Machine Learning is a way of data analysis that systematizes logical model building. With algorithms that continually study data, these essentials permit computers to discover concealed insights without being plainly programmed where to search. Rising interest in Machine Learning is due to the similar factors that have made data mining more common [3].

 

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Machine Learning has become hot in 2017 and suppliers are capitalizing research and development into the use of machine learning in supply chain [4]. For machine learning to work sound, it is necessary to be a Big Data application.  Several of these data sets are retrieved daily, or even numerous times daily, so the lively nature of the demand is taken to a much higher degree than old forecasting methods [4].

 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has also become a major trend to discuss this year.  In supply chain, the division of AI known as machine learning is where most of these activities occurred, mainly for Drones, Autonomous vehicle suppliers making delivering supply chain planning (SCP) apps [5]. As of today, Amazon's shipping drones are being tested at development centers in the US, UK, Austria, France, Israel. One day, seeing these drones flying above your head will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road.

 

Tesla Semi

 

How about autonomous vehicles? Tesla's autonomous car is not so unfamiliar anymore. Two weeks ago, Tesla introduced its electric truck, the Tesla Semi. If these trucks are also equipped with autopilot technology, maybe the supply chain in the future will look very different from what you see today. The upcoming 2018 is a very promising year for self-driving cars and other autonomous vehicles' booming.

 

3. Cloud computing, Internet of Things and SaaS

 

Internet of Things (IoT) is a concept that envisages all objects around us as part of internet like digital cameras, sensors, smart phones, etc. Once they are connected, they permit more and more smart progressions that aid our basic needs, environment and well-being. Cloud computing is a prototype for on-demand entrée to a common tarn of configurable resources that can be easily software and applications (SaaS). Cloud based platforms aid in connecting the things (IaaS) around us so that we have access at any time and place in a comprehensible manner through tailored portals and inherent applications (SaaS). Hence, cloud acts as a front end to access Internet of Things.

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Cloud computing is projected to increase in order to attain a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 19% [6]. Most Tech Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) believe cloud computing will have the most quantifiable impact in supply chain this year. Cloud platforms are allowing innovative, multifaceted supply chain models and scoring more globally-based incorporation networks in 2017 than many predicted [6]. Combined with Cloud Services adoption growing in the mid-tier, Small & Medium Businesses (SMB) are adjusting their forecasts upward.

 

Many reputable supply chain SaaS solutions are highly accessible, easy-to-use platform designed to enhance your data movement system. Serving several supply chain management, these solutions provide wide-ranging integration solutions with robust features, and improved security to improve operational processes and safeguard customer SLA's. Some reputable supply chain SaaS solutions include Abivin vRoute, Aqxolt ERP, Cleo, etc.

 

4. Blockchain, Hashgraph, and all the “future decentralized technology”

 

Over the past weeks, there has been talks about Hashgraph, an innovative technology. Thus far, a number of ideas of what this is, and why it is relevant has been raised. It surely lacks some attributes one would liken with Blockchain, but by any mean, they are all part of the “future decentralized technology”.

 

Source

 

A Blockchain is a devolved, digitized, community archive of all cryptocurrency dealings. Each node has a duplicate of the Blockchain, which is moved systematically. For Hashgraph, this is a new accord algorithm built on spread archive technology. Hashgraph algorithm basically makes available an innovative platform for dispersed consensus.

 

The feature regularly used to denote or label both Blockchain and Hashgraph is that they enable total transparency in operations. Although Hashgraph is a data assembly and consensus process that is much faster, and secure, they are both part of the future of decentralized technology.

 

References:

1.https://www.abivin.com/single-post/2016/12/27/The-latest-trends-in-supply-chain-management-2016-Review

2.http://www.logisticsmgmt.com/article/6_ways_big_data_is_enhancing_the_global_supply_chain

3.https://securityintelligence.com/why-machine-learning-is-an-essential-tool-in-the-cisos-arsenal/

4.https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevebanker/2017/09/26/machine-learning-in-the-digital-supply-chain-isnt-new/#2c6f704e38a3

5.https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevebanker/2017/10/16/the-arms-race-to-leverage-machine-learning-in-supply-chain-planning/#67ff84ba6807

6.https://www.forbes.com/sites/louiscolumbus/2017/04/29/roundup-of-cloud-computing-forecasts-2017/#38b3c28a31e8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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