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The future of supply chain: faster, more effective and more flexible


A few months ago, we wrote about the recent shift around the requirements regarding (international) cooperation between companies – in particular, the trend of companies being demanded to take responsibility for the activities and corporate social responsibility of their suppliers. However, the growing call for control of the supply chain is about more than just social responsibility: recent technological developments imply that the requirements for suppliers are rapidly increasing. How can you continue to meet these requirements as a company? 

In the past, companies were only responsible for the operations within their own company. However, companies now have to account not only for their internal affairs through audits and certificates, but also for the partners they do business with and how they do business with them – in accordance with legislation and with strict supervision, to prevent cases such as money laundering. For example, consumers do not want to buy products if the production involved child labor or environmental pollution. These topics have become a part of quality, safety, compliance and risk management. For example, control of the supply chain is now a part of the QMS work area.

However, the growing importance of supply chain control is about more than just the social aspect. Just like the rest of the world, the logistics sector is going through a digital transformation as well. Worldwide, more ad more demands are placed on the way products are delivered. Over the past few years, suppliers are deliverig their products faster, more efficiently and more in line with consumer requirements: it is now more common for customers to require their order to be delivered at a specific time or to be tracked at any time of the day. Recent technological developments have also contributed to increased requirements in the field of user-friendliness, such as sensors that automatically measure environmental conditions and image recordings to visually monitor goods and processes 24/7.

Supply Chains in 2030

By 2030, supply chains are not expected to be rigid systems anymore, but flexible adaptable logistics networks. This means that improved cooperation between all parties in the supply chain is required, but as a company you remain dependent on the weakest link in the chain. To stay ahead of the competition, all processes in the company need to be digitised and integrated. The more the delivery processes are digitised, the more historical data is available, which in turn can be used to resolve bottlenecks and shortages early before they can cause problems further on in the process. For example, too large a stock can be at the expense of profitability, but this can be prevented by matching the inventory to the insights from the data.

In addition, automating processes can help retailers and manufacturers get a better grip on their data, through real-time traceability and by analysing data from different sources. This concerns digital sources as well as social media, as well as the increased amount of interaction with customers – for which there is more time, because employees no longer have to spend time on already automated routine tasks.

Integration and digitisation of the supply chain

Logistics managers in various parts of the supply chain are therefore faced with the task of making the entire omnichannel chain more transparent, so that it can also be better predicted in the future. For this, all processes, both within the own organisation and at chain partners, must be digitised. This is where Icologiq Elements comes into play. Elements is an all-in-one software platform that combines all technological, functional and operational processes in one fully digital solution, consisting of nine modules. By giving suppliers access to all procedures and checklists within Elements, which are part of a structural supervision of the role of the supply chain, managers can automatically check whether the products supplied meet the quality requirements. Digitisation is in fact a means of improving cooperation between the different partners in the supply chain.

Source: YellowStar

About Icologiq Elements

About Icologiq Elements

All-in-one software platform Icologiq Elements facilitates process innovation from a central point in the organisation. Its goal is to provide the organisation centrally with the right tools to solve problems, handle complaints, implement improvements, implement change in a structured and safe manner, identify and identify the right risks, and ensuring that people can work safely from any point in the organisation.

The software enables companies to get the best out of their people and teams. By automating routine tasks, they can fully focus on their main tasks. In addition, the fragmentation of local solutions and spreadsheets is converted into a reliable, transparent platform with which companies cover all their processes related to safety, quality, welfare and the environment.