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5 Ways Sofware is Changing the Supply Chain

Updated: Nov 16



Supply chains have been in the news a lot lately, accompanying an unfolding narrative about increasing food prices, skyrocketing fuel costs, and a general labor shortage. Could supply chain technology and SaaS come to the rescue with long term fixes? Whether they can or can’t (without some policy changes) they have certainly made big waves in the area of logistics. Here are 5 ways that software has changed (and will change) the supply chain:


Safety


Wearable sensors can help enforce Covid related policies by discouraging workers from getting too close to one another. But aside from that, wearable sensors can also greatly reduce the amount of accidents that occur in supply chain settings like warehouses and docks. Oncoming trucks, errant forklifts, and dangerously dangling containers are just a few of the many hazards that can cause serious injury or death. Considering that some of the most common workplace injuries are being struck by an object, caught in machinery, or subjected to a vehicle related accident, it’s likely that wearable sensors will not only increase productivity, but save lives.


Navigation


Navigational tools have become a household staple for millions of Americans who can no longer get anywhere without an iPhone or Android. The stakes are always high for getting to grandma’s house on time…but they’re much higher for tractor trailers carrying consumer staples like much needed produce. Applications that can plan the most efficient route, taking into consideration hazards, weather, and normal traffic patterns will help keep drivers safe and improve the efficiency of each and every journey they make.


Efficiency


Analytic tools leveraging the latest power of AI and machine learning will improve the supply chain in a number of ways. By breaking apart the big data provided by suppliers and shippers, softwares and apps will be able to recommend best practices and draw up optimized routes. When these tools are coupled with integrations at the retail level, consumer facing businesses will be able to plan promotions and navigate inventory issues. CRM can be used to improve the business relationship with suppliers and clients. And predictive maintenance harnessing sensors and IoT can reduce costs by as much as 25%.


Flexibility


3D printing (and the software that makes it possible) is one technology that could pose major disruptions to the supply chain industry, among several others. This is because anyone with a 3D printer can create a number of items they would have formally needed to obtain from a manufacturer. But on the flip side, the ease of 3D printing will help suppliers and manufacturers greatly speed up the overall process of fulfilment. It will also increase the flexibility of the supply chain, as suppliers will be able to provide more customizations and sell specific parts on demand.


Consumer Confidence


Sensors and smart tags can be used to follow items like raw materials through the supply chain. If you’re wondering why that matters beyond efficiency and cost reduction, it’s because consumers are becoming increasingly interested in ethical supply chains that source sustainable materials. Geospatial data is going to become increasingly available, which will in turn facilitate greater transparency in the relationship between consumers and the manufacturers that sell to them. Of course, the technology that assists in tracking raw materials and finished goods will also be extremely useful for stalling the spread of contaminants.


A world connected by software


As you can see, a number of exciting developments are occurring in the supply chain space, many of them through the power of SaaS and applications. Software sales professionals who are interested in this space and its developments will find that a number of companies are looking to expand into new territories, especially as global supply chains bring everyone closer.


If you’re in software sales and you’re to navigate int a new role, whether that’s in supply and logistics or another vertical, I can help you with almost four decades of software sales recruiting experience. Alternatively, if you’re an employer looking for software sales talent, I can help you there as well, as I have a large pool of very qualified candidates. Send an email to mike@michaelblair.com and let’s connect!

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