Over the past two years, global disruptions have strongly influenced supply chain management. As more workers reach retirement age, for example, labor shortages grow, forcing companies to rethink how to compensate and allocate labour. At the same time, the e-commerce trend has raised customer expectations, with more and more consumers demanding faster delivery times. To keep up with these trends, supply chains must become faster, more granular and more precise. Digitization offers a solution, enabling businesses to meet changing expectations and remain efficient despite disruption.

While no company can guarantee a “future-proof” supply chain, companies can use technology to prepare for disruptions before they happen and minimize the impact of these events on the bottom line. net. Some companies are staying ahead of the competition by implementing digitalization in the manufacturing and logistics sectors. However, companies that are ahead of the game understand that technology alone is only a partial solution to a complex challenge, and that a collaboration between humans and machines will prove more effective for supply chains. supply of the future.

Supply Chain 4.0

Supply Chain 4.0 – the application of the Internet of Things (IoT), advanced robotics and advanced analytics in supply chain management – is the number of companies responding today today to supply chain disruptions. These technologies, when properly integrated, can dramatically improve business processes.

Supply Chain 4.0 is fast, flexible, granular, accurate and efficient. Real-time planning, promoted by Supply Chain 4.0, enables flexible responses to changing supply and demand. But it also separates humans from machines, relying heavily on automation and less and less on human decision-making.

Some visionaries predict a fifth industrial revolution: a reconciliation between humans and machines. Could we benefit more from this type of integrative approach? This is what Supply Chain 5.0 speculates.

Supply Chain 5.0

Supply Chain 5.0 addresses the hyper-personalization and hyper-personalization of customer needs, which requires the right mix of human creativity and machine efficiency. While machines take on the laborious work, humans can focus on creative tasks and cognitive problem solving.

Robots in the manufacturing space are often used for repetitive tasks, streamlining the overall assembly workflow. The use of robots in this sense is extremely valuable for manufacturers trying to maintain both product standards and high production volume. What bots can’t do is personally work with customers who need additional help and guidance. This is where the human element becomes invaluable. More importantly, collaboration between humans and machines can enable the flexibility and efficiency needed to achieve resilience in a changing world.

Set up a collaborative supply chain

The human-machine hybrid model of Supply Chain 5.0 helps companies withstand disruption without compromising competitiveness or profitability. To build resilience in your supply chain without changing personnel or requiring your customers or suppliers to change their processes, digitization and human collaboration are essential. Start with these best practices:

  • Automate data capture and management. Manual data entry is time-consuming, error-prone, and rarely up-to-date. This is where automation can play an important role in Supply Chain 5.0. Digital data management allows companies to collect more robust data and analyze it in real time, all without wasting valuable work on this critical task. Accurate data is essential for workflow automation, reporting and artificial intelligence.
  • Collaborate in process optimization. Many companies have an integrated planning process in place, but this is often done in silos. Make sure each area of ​​a business has up-to-date information about what other areas are doing and why. Digitization can make it easier to access real-time information across an organization, so every department can stay up to date and develop solutions together. By collaborating in this way, everyone in the company benefits.
  • Start small and scale up. Empower employees who best understand company goals to take on mentorship positions. Give them the materials and the power to evangelize the company’s mission in an understandable way. Over time, more employees will have learned from their personal tips and will pass that information on to the next wave of new hires.

Supply Chain 5.0 will use data to reap the business benefits of a human-machine relationship. You don’t have to make big risky investments. Start small and prove your worth with quick and easy wins.

Ray Grady is President and CEO of Login.