At the onset of the pandemic, supply chains encountered significant changes in the pace of their operations. 

Not only that, but the demands also reduced specifically on industries that were directly hit by the lockdowns, travel bans, and market closure.

However, incorporating several technologies became a saving grace for many supply chains and businesses, suggesting that innovative solutions can broadly come from developing information technology.

As a result, the future of supply chains is now founded on technological advancement that can create a flexible and resilient lot regardless of any circumstance.

What the pandemic thought supply chains

The global supply chains and marketing enterprises have seen the worst of how a pandemic can turn around business operations.

Today, as the world gear toward ending the COVID-19 crisis with the vaccine rollout, economic revival has gradually occurred.

However, supply chains may have surpassed the critical impacts of the pandemic, but there are still other sources of pressure that the industry continues to struggle from.

One example is the recent blocking in the Suez Canal delaying the transport of goods. Another one is the increase in trade tariffs between the US and China.

Of course, there is that inherent pressure from customers to manufacture high-quality products and match market expectations.  

These crucial issues, along with months of controlled mobility brought by the pandemic, opened the eyes of the supply chains to the need for better flexibility, resilience, and futureproofing for the industry.

Materializing these targets can be possible with technological upgrades such as incorporating artificial intelligence, robotics, and cloud-edge computing.

Real-world and industry data can change the game

Aside from the projected improvement in the embedded technology, real-world data are also considered significant factors in strengthening flexibility and resiliency in supply chains. These data encompass delivery projections, shipping content, container temperature, etc.

Moreover, these types of physical data, along with business data such as manufacturer contracts, directory of global suppliers and sub-suppliers, and inventory of production equipment and facilities, are deemed crucial for automation.

As supply chains prepare for the post-pandemic new normal setting for the business, automation is a crucial element in improving manufacture.

Intelligent solutions that businesses should adopt

While automation is a fundamental step to futureproof global supply chains, data-driven automation is simply the first step.

Automatic acquisition of data may not be necessary. Instead, these data needed to be analyzed in line with the business’ goal and context. This critical step can effectively reduce cost and improve productivity.

Along with automation, artificial intelligence, robotics, and computing should also be data-driven.

On the other hand, another essential technology that would highly provide intelligent solutions is cloud-based storage and architecture.

The centralization and fast accessibility of data can provide efficient execution and an easy route for mission-critical processes.

Furthermore, data can be retrieved quickly and be categorized and redirected to specific divisions through an intelligent cloud system.

The advances in business integrated technology continue to move forward.

Nonetheless, what is clear today is that data play a crucial role in this advancement. Hence, supply chains should secure that their business and real-world data are preserved and protected at all costs.