Supply Chain 4.0: Improving Logistics Agility, Performance and Visibility

In numerous sectors, including logistics, retail, agriculture, and automobile, the digital supply chain has evolved into a more strategic and central component of organizational operations. Continue reading to learn why you should consider implementing supply chain 4.0 in your organization.

The standard supply chain is a linear model that works well in a stable and reliable world. However, the turbulent times under which we are living necessitate the introduction of a modern supply chain paradigm that enables businesses to be more flexible and agile in order to succeed and lead the industry. Supply chain 4.0 is the integration of the Intelligence of Things, big data mixed with data science, digital communications, and a slew of other fourth industrial revolution-era smart technology.

Via transformation and digitalization, innovative innovations reorganize the conventional paradigm, alter the distribution of knowledge inside the chain, and assist businesses in achieving greater results. Global companies such as Adidas, Maersk Line, Volvo, the Port of Hamburg, and Decathlon also use IoT to gain useful insights into inventory, distribution, and warehousing.

The supply chain 4.0’s primary advantages 

Digital transformation of the supply chain will include a plethora of benefits to a company, ranging from increased end-to-end visibility and decision-making to increased organizational efficiency and cost reduction.

Below are a few additional benefits of the digital supply chain:

  • Proclaim the virtues of end-to-end accountability. The modern supply chain improves the efficiency of data sharing within an organization, various vendors, and consumers. Real-time asset monitoring enabled by the Internet of Things, cloud-based dashboards, and other technological solutions enable the establishment of an item’s precise position. Businesses will monitor any changes to the digital environment, which improves order quality, traceability, and performance.

Supply chain 4.0 applications in a variety of sectors

The disruption in today’s market world necessitates rather than optionally adopting a digital supply chain. And, although several organizations are still considering the advantages, some have already adopted and shown the advantages of a modern supply chain. Several supply chain 4.0 implementations include the following:

1. Manufacturing

Digital technology may assist in mitigating pandemic-related disturbances and enhancing organizational performance and stability. Wearables such as augmented-reality headphones, for example, may aid staff in receiving or providing remote support, resulting in decreased repair time. Through analyzing photos for relevant effects, machine vision algorithms may perform an automated quality inspection.

It is improbable that 3D printing would ever fully replace conventional production processes. However, it can be used to create cost-effective individualized objects. Dr. Scholl, a foot care device maker, utilizes 3D printing to produce personalized orthotics.

2. Logistics

Path optimization and vehicle scheduling are used in smart logistics, which is enabled through networking, advanced analytics, and automation technologies. Additionally, COVID-19 has raised the need for completely automated vehicles capable of delivering products while minimizing human encounters. The implementation of completely autonomous vehicles is contingent upon the development of deep learning algorithms, which are not yet operational.

While the majority of cars need human drivers to operate, they are beginning to include self-driving features.

In 2019, an automated truck with a safety driver completed a three-day journey from California to Pennsylvania. Normally, such a journey would take nearly nine days. Additionally, unmanned aerial vehicles may be used to optimize distribution processes while maintaining social distance. For instance, Amazon created a distribution system that uses drones to deliver goods in 30 minutes or less. Self-driving robots are another example of no-contact distribution. By early 2021, Starship Technologies’ delivery robots will have accomplished about a million autonomous deliveries.

3. Retail

With the growth of e-commerce, the importance of reducing operating costs by technological strategies has increased. Retailers benefit from increased transparency in the supply chain, including raw material procurement, manufacturing, and last-mile distribution, as digital supply chains are operated by insightful, data-driven processes. Retail companies can not only handle inventory efficiently to satisfy customer needs, but they can also synchronize knowledge exchange through the whole supply chain by implementing intelligent, data-driven processes.

As a result, manufacturers are now taking a holistic view of their whole supply chain from raw material procurement to manufacturing to last-mile distribution. Zara, a fast-fashion company that often makes its own garments, utilizes RFID tags to increase the production of high-demand items to prevent out-of-stock circumstances. Walmart has spent $14 billion in supply chain optimization through the use of automated technologies in fulfillment centers.


About 80% of organizations want to exploit the digital world in the coming years. Digitization is a win-win situation for all players in the supply chain. Adopting cutting-edge technology enables businesses to adapt to emerging industry environments, have exceptional consumer service, and keep one step ahead of rivals.

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