Michel Savini, who leads Crimson & Co’s digital offer in the UK, recently spoke at the SCIP (Supply Chain In Performance) Networking event, hosted by Prof. Jan Godsell for the Warwick Manufacturing Group. The topic of the event was ‘Supply Chain 4.0’.
Our vision of Supply Chain 4.0 rests upon 4 pillars:
- Connectivity: to collect data from the end-to-end supply chain for increased visibility. One of the key technologies in this area is the Internet of Things, or IoT, as it allows data to be extracted in a simple and cost-effective way.
- Automation: first, physical flows, starting with increasingly automated warehouses and extending to driverless deliveries. And second, processes, especially mundane tasks so staff can focus on added-value ones. This is made possible by Robotic Process Automation, or RPA, a key technology which is rapidly being adopted to digitise back and front-office work.
- Predictivity: the more data we collect, the more data we need to process. Part of it can be done through automation, but part of it needs some cognitive input. This is where machine learning can help us really exploit that trove of data that many companies are sitting on today, without really using it.
- Security: the last pillar is usually thought of it exactly in that order, the last one. Cyber security is finally becoming a big subject even if there is still a long way to go. Blockchain, is the other important technology here as it works as a shared and secured repository of all transactions and an enabler to ‘smart contracts’.
Crimson & Co then gave concrete examples of ongoing projects where these different technologies are being used by Crimson & Co’s clients to build their Supply Chain 4.0.