July 2021 | Commentary | Managing Disruption

Navigating Unexpected Hiccups

Tags: Technology , Big Data

Uncertainties and unexpected hiccups can hit businesses at any time. Without resilience and enough preparedness, a business can struggle to cope with these unforeseen events.

Nishith Rastogi, Founder and CEO, Locus, 866-373-9004

For supply chain enterprises, a small event like a truck getting into a crash could cause minor day-to-day impacts—such as a delay in last-mile delivery. Bigger unseen events like a global pandemic could cause more catastrophic and long-term impacts, pushing businesses to revisit supply chain strategies and adopt new operating models.

A recent example of an unexpected supply chain bottleneck was when a vessel became lodged diagonally in the Suez Canal. As a result, more than 150 large container ships, carrying oil and gas, grain, and other commodities were stuck for days at either end of the canal, causing huge revenue losses and shipping delays globally.

No business had anticipated an accident like this. But logistics enterprises that operate on roads commonly face transport glitches due to lack of visibility and ineffective navigation. Optical limitations and lack of real-time data are the top reasons why on-ground accidents, delays, and navigation inefficiencies take place through supply chain routes.

These events lead to operational inefficiencies, poor customer experience and loss of revenue. Without real-time data, and ability to trace ongoing supply chain activities, businesses cannot respond effectively to uncertainties and often fail to take quick preventive measures.

Preparing for unforeseen supply chain disruptions is possible with proactive business practices, resilient strategies, and powerful data-driven decision making. Advancements in data science, AI, and machine learning are transforming supply chains across the globe, boosting resilience and preparing businesses for unpreventable circumstances.

Digital Twin Technology

When there is an impact in one leg of the supply chain, ripples are often felt across other areas. To handle these supply chain hiccups effectively, companies need to be agile and analyze data for fast decision making.

Leveraging advanced logistics tools such as digital twin technology can instantly show the impact of an unforeseen event on the big picture using multiple simulations. Digital twin is a virtual simulation of an on-ground supply chain that helps companies test various what-if scenarios to arrive at a well-thought-out strategy.

Even in a modern business landscape, many supply chains still struggle with poor logistics planning due to heavy dependency on human intelligence and manual processes. Automated logistics planning software helps businesses optimize key operational processes such as dispatch planning, distribution scheduling and delivery route planning. Digitization of logistics planning saves valuable time and costs, while improving productivity.

Data-driven Visibility in Real Time

On-ground data is a valuable asset for logistics businesses. But companies often fail to manage and utilize this data to their advantage. Availability of real-time information helps businesses understand loopholes in their logistical processes and accurate data analytics provides logistics businesses with meaningful and actionable insights for improved decision making.

Live visibility tools help logistics managers stay on top of ongoing supply chain operations, monitor workforce productivity, and take corrective measures in case of sudden or unexpected hiccups.

Logistics and supply chain enterprises are realizing the growing need for adaptability and responsiveness, and are letting go of redundant, manual business operations, making room for digitization and data-driven processes. It's the only way supply chains can fortify their core operations, while continuing to grow despite uncertainties.






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