As a manufacturer, you’ve undoubtedly felt both the constraints and the beauties of a lengthy global supply chain. When things have gone wrong—delayed orders, supplier shutdowns, or shipping strikes—you’ve also realized that one of the most important parts of your job as a manufacturer in i4.0 is to ensure that you have an effective, bulletproof method for supply chain management.
Find out how Scanco can help you stay on top of your supply chain the easy way with low-maintenance automation that integrates with Sage, Acumatica, and NetSuite ERP. Contact Scanco online for more information, or call us directly at 1-877-SCANCO-1. We look forward to hearing from you.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution
These days in i4.0, also known as “The Fourth Industrial Revolution,” our modern businesses often require critical input from machines in order to produce goods quickly and efficiently so that we can keep up with competitors. If you haven’t heard of i4.0, leading expert on the topic, Professor Klaus Schwab, defines it as:
“A range of new technologies that are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds, impacting all disciplines, economies and industries, and even challenging ideas about what it means to be human…connect[ing] billions more people to digital networks [and] dramatically improve[ing] the efficiency of organizations…”
However, he also has worries about the Brave New World that the emerging i4.0 technology brings:
“Organizations might be unable to adapt; governments might fail to employ and regulate new technologies to capture their benefits; shifting power will create important new security concerns; inequality may grow; and societies fragment.”
To us, all of these problems sound like the current issues in the global supply chain.
i4.0 and Supply Chain Management: A Few Blockades
Let’s look at a deeper look at some of the troubles Professor Schwab outlines:
Organizations that fail to adapt
An ever-lengthening supply chain creates inequality between businesses. Either your business can or cannot manage the supply chain profitably by sourcing from other nations in an agile manner that supports as close to a JIT model as possible. Businesses that cannot do this may lose the pricing battle by running low on raw materials and having to rely on costlier, local sources.
Slow government regulations for technology
New methods of goods transport are being created to help with the problem of managing a long supply chain, but Prof. Schwab is correct about governmental delays getting in the way. Not only are drone deliveries meeting with befuddling resistance in the United States, which slows shipments to your customers as well as materials sourcing for your own business, hyperloop development is also meeting with resistance as the U.S. government crawls along, compiling report after report on the new technology’s feasibility.
Haven’t heard of hyperloops? They’re the wave of the future for supply chains. Comprised of two steel tubes welded together side-by-side to allow for bi-directional traffic, this goods-delivery method seeks to connect major supply hubs together with ultra-high-speed, solar-powered pods that could, conceivably, deliver orders direct from China to Central Europe within a speedy 10 hours instead of the current standard: two weeks.
Hyperloops are an attractive alternative to current shipping systems for more than just their speed. They also reduce emissions, are cheaper than air freight and require no fuel, and they’re impervious to weather delays. (We’re impressed too.)
Scanco Helps with i4.0 and an Improved Supply Chain
Of course, hyperloops, drones, and other delivery technology only works, as we said, with the correct systems in place so that manufacturers can function with agility in i4.0. An easy way to get on top of supply chain management in your business is to implement manufacturing automation tools from Scanco.
Built on the same platform as the wireless, mobile-based barcoding systems we’re known for, our automation tools integrate seamlessly with Sage 100, Sage 500 ERP, and Acumatica to provide real-time insight into your materials inventory that will keep you in control of your supply chain at all times – no matter how long it gets.
Contact Scanco online or at 1-877- SCANCO-1 to learn more about how Scanco apps can help your business become more competitive.