If you’re attending the 2021 CSCMP Edge Supply Chain Conference, you’re probably interested in how to enhance processes in your supply chain, and how Supply Chain Management (SCM) is advancing.
SCM is crucial for nearly every business with supply chain, no matter the industry. Whether you’re tracking inventory on-the-road or within a facility, there’s a standardized process that materials/products go through to reach their final destination. To ensure that everything is always in its proper place, it’s important to better manage the supply chain assets travel through.
History of Supply Chain Management
Before the term “supply chain” was even used, supply chains still existed. In the pre-industrial revolution, farmers used supply chains on a much smaller scale. Products traveled from the farm directly to the consumer's hands (think about farmer’s markets today). Today, industrial farms mass produce products and in turn have more steps in between production and delivery to the consumer. This includes production, packaging, distribution, and purchase.
The use of supply chains has increased since then across all industries. The term “supply chain management” came to be a more widely-known term in the early 1980s. Businesses realized the need to focus on all of the steps inventory goes through from the beginning of production all the way to reaching the consumer.
The biggest change was seen in businesses outsourcing to logistics companies on a regular basis. Companies started focusing on the end result and also the product immediately in front of them. This helped with not only product quality but also ensuring the product reached the consumer in a timely manner.
Current SCM Advancements
The first SCM systems only focused on the physical movement of assets. While tracking movement is important, there are other factors to consider throughout the supply chain, such as asset condition and location. Supply chains can now visualize asset data and business services. With more data to analyze, product quality and services improve.
Internet of Things (IoT) is the central part of modern SCM systems. Instead of only tracking the truck your pallets are on, companies can now track individual pallets and visualize that information in real time through a comprehensive IoT software platform. It’s possible that one pallet can go missing by tracking just the truck it’s on. So it’s critical to drilldown and visualize individual assets.
The Future of Supply Chain Solutions
Incorporating analytics within SCM systems allows businesses to better prepare and meet customer demands. When companies can review historical asset location and condition data, they can visualize what went wrong, or right, and continue to improve or maintain processes. Looking toward the future, SCM systems will be able to automatically adjust inventory levels based on changing demand. This will allow companies to make sure they’re not over or under-stocking their inventory to save money, while ensuring products remain current.
More and more, consumers have interest in supply chain transparency. Consumers want to know not only where their product is, but where it came from. With the uptick of “fast fashion” and mass production in general, comes the need for environmental and humanitarian awareness surrounding products. Visibility into things like carbon emissions and Conflict Minerals allow consumers to make a clear choice in selecting products based on individual morales. Transparency results in greater trust between the end-user and the company.
Why Attend the CSCMP Edge Supply Chain Conference?
The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) provides educational opportunities to companies in the logistics and supply chain management industries. Through their annual conference, they further promote this vision through engaging speaking sessions and exhibiting companies. In turn, attendees gain insight into SCM advancements to further improve business practices and processes.
This year, Link Labs will be exhibiting at booth #1024 and presenting a LIVE demo on September 20th at 1 PM ET on their AirFinder solution. During this LIVE demo, discover how AirFinder can help your company more easily locate and monitor assets throughout the supply chain. For more information on Link Labs at Edge, click here or stop by our booth!