Supply chains have long been the arteries and veins of agri-input businesses. Yet, this circulation system had no choice for many decades regarding struggles with unplanned delays, bottlenecks, sudden disruptions, and coordination knots. Not anymore!
Technology has ironed out many wrinkles in the logistics of agri-inputs. Thanks to the extreme solutions of supply chain automation, now agri-input businesses need not worry about their raw materials, inventories, and finished goods at various levels of the chain. Instead, they can focus on real issues. They can let technology handle the back-end problems—with precision, speed, and simplicity.
Technology and logistics – a strong chain
Technology has started to emerge as a strategic imperative for supply chain organizations. In a recent Gartner survey, 61% of respondents pointed to technology as a source of competitive advantage. Many also identified several emerging technologies as critical investment areas, with 20% investing in robotics.
In the next three to five years, there is expected to be a rise in the adoption of digital supply chain technologies and technologies that improve human decision-making. It is also signified that by 2026, 75 percent of large enterprises will have adopted some form of intralogistics intelligent robots in their warehouse operations. These tools will help to counter labor availability constraints, rapidly rising labor rates, and the residual impacts of COVID-19. Here, businesses will find much support from intralogistics intelligent robots that can be deployed in warehouses and distribution centers. Also, by 2026, more than 75 percent of commercial supply chain management application vendors will deliver embedded advanced analytics (AA), artificial intelligence (AI), and data science – thus, helping with improved decision-making.
By 2025, 25 percent of supply chain decisions will be made across intelligent edge ecosystems. If companies do not merge their digital supply chain and control tower initiatives through 2026, 80 percent will suffer significant value loss. Those who succeed can unlock the quality insights needed from technology investments. They can augment end-to-end decision-making and execution visibility and answer critical questions like “what should I do now that I can see this shipment is delayed?”
If we turn to Accenture Supply Chain Research, it also pointed out that 76 percent of executives were expecting top-two customer demands of the future in areas of ‘more customized products and services’ and ‘faster order fulfillment times’. This is something where again, technology can jump in to provide real-time support, create asset-light networks, reduce the complexity of logistics, and make supply chains more responsive than ever. As many as 79 percent of supply chain executives had agreed that the future of supply chains would be flexible and asset-light. Also, 86 percent of executives expected supply chain assets to be enabled by digital technologies.
Fast forward to tomorrow, and ResearchAndMarkets says that Cloud-based AI-as-a-Service for SCM will reach $1.9B by 2025 globally. Specifically, AI in SCM involving context-aware computing will reach $1.3B by 2025 globally. AI SCM in edge computing for IoT-enabled solutions will reach $3.2B by 2025 globally. Also, Artificial Intelligence of Things (IoT) is emerging as a significant enabler of SCM optimization – and we see other areas like Material movement and tracking shaping into strong sub-segments here. AI-enabled supply chains are estimated to be up to 60 percent more effective, with reduced risk and lower overall costs.
Technology and logistics – why is the iron hot?
There is a reason that supply chain automation is becoming so sharp and so well-received. When technology enters this domain, businesses start witnessing the following:
- Fast and automated decision-making
- Combination of artificial and human intelligence
- Creation of a positive feedback loop
- Better overall SCM performance
- Significant improvements from production to consumption within product-related industries
- Strong support of servitization of products in a cloud-based service model
- Enablement of ownership of outcomes as a service
- Tighter control of overall product/service experience and profitability
- Data-driven decision-making
Agri-input manufacturers can connect the supply chain digitally with the right supply-chain automation solution. This helps improve data accuracy and real-time insights – hence, more intelligent decisions. As for distributors, they can place orders digitally, watch expiry and fluctuations of movement, and can better track inventory. Retailers gain a lot from supply-chain automation because they can view products specific to the manufacturer. They can also place and capture orders in interconnected systems with real-time order fulfillment notifications.
Technology is here to help all stakeholders with better planning, faster action, and deeper visibility. The blood clots will disappear with technology injected into the logistics’ nervous systems. And everything will flow in business blood vessels– just how it should. Uninterrupted. Nourishing.