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Building A Better Supply Chain In Wake Of COVID Pandemic

Reimagining your business in the wake of the COVID pandemic will certainly not be an easy task. Executives across all industries are seeking new ways to transform traditional business processes. One of those key business processes is supply chain.

From retail to automotive, having a streamlined supply chain is critical to ensure business growth and success. Even top global companies with the most innovative systems for inventory, manufacturing, and shipment in place find weak spots in their supply chains.

This has become especially evident during the COVID pandemic. The pandemic halted business production, shuttered manufacturing plants, clogged transportation routes, and created a hoarding mentality among consumers.

The supply chains broke down for many industries. Especially in the healthcare industry. Hospitals, clinics, as well as state and local healthcare agencies could not get the supplies they needed to reduce risk and save lives. This was ultimately due to the breakdown of supply chains.

The problems the COVID pandemic highlighted were clear. There needs to be a way to strengthen the supply chain during stress. And the antiquated ways supply chains are managed are no longer useful for companies and consumers.

We have certainly learned a lot from the pandemic when it comes to supply chain efficiency and management. This has shed some light on new best practices and systems, like cloud supply chain and digital supply chain. Let’s dive a bit deeper into building a better supply chain in the wake of the COVID pandemic.

Planning Is Key When It Comes To Building A Better Supply Chain

There is no question that businesses large and small were not ready for the COVID pandemic. Nearly every business’ system was stressed or failed as COVID spread rapidly across the world. This emphasizes the need for better planning.

How can you do this effectively without relying on traditional systems that may not be useful during another global disaster? Enter the digital supply chain via cloud, and digital supply chain twin scenario.

A digital supply chain is a mirror of your new cloud supply chain that represents your business assets, processes, and/or systems. It can be stressed utilizing scenarios not unlike the COVID pandemic in order to find disruption risks in the physical supply chain.

An article published in Production, Planning & Control (2020) stated:

“The combination of model-based and data-driven approaches allows uncovering the interrelations of risk data, disruption modeling, and performance assessment. The SC shocks and adaptations amid the COVID-19 pandemic along with post-pandemic recoveries provide indisputable evidences for the urgent needs of digital twins for mapping supply networks and ensuring visibility.”

Cloud Supply Chain Facilitates Digital Twin Models Via Diverse Data

Developing a digital supply chain twin is best if you are utilizing cloud supply chain. This is because the cloud uses diverse data to improve processes within industries. For instance cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), and big data are commonly combined to innovate automotive manufacturing processes.

“Cloud technology is enabling auto manufacturers to optimize their use of public, private or specifically hybrid cloud offerings, depending on automakers’ business needs and the best fit for the application, including custom end-to-end solutions,” Ajay Kumar explained in Manufacturing.net.

With digital supply chain twins supported by the cloud, risk assessment and management can be simplified. Cloud supply chain management and modeling can then be utilized to make highly informed decisions in real-time.

This allows companies to be ready for the next global disaster, avoiding issues seen during the COVID pandemic. The time is now to build a better supply chain via the cloud. But how do you manage that digital supply chain?

Digital Supply Chain Management, The Cloud, And Developing Data Warehouses

When it comes to utilizing digital twins and cloud supply chains, you will need to take a few steps to ensure best practices are in place. First step is to develop a data warehouse in the cloud supply chain you are using. This allows for data and security to work in tandem.

There are also machine learning benefits that go with this as well. And having more analytics and machine learning processes in place can enhance consumer behavior models in order to make risk assessment and find weak spots in the supply chain more realistic.

For instance, you can utilize Google Cloud AutoML or BigQuery ML to create powerful models that utilize machine learning for accurate consumer behavior testing. Without accurate consumer behavior within your digital twin models, you will get poor results.

Wrapping Up . . .

The time to reimagine your company’s supply chain is now. Cloud supply chain and cloud supply chain management opens up new opportunities to build a better supply chain in the wake of the COVID pandemic. There was much to learn over the last year, and we are not out of the woods yet. How will you ensure business growth and success via the cloud?

 

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