Due to the complexity of the modern-day supply chain an ever growing need for visibility and data is emerging. Nowadays the pace of circulation for goods is so fast, e.g. 3-4 weeks for clothing retail shop floor, that tight control over the goods’ whereabouts and condition cannot be overlooked.
ASC NOW magazine’s article discussed the need to map out and organize the supply chain as an entity containing each actor in it. This process gives supply chain professionals visibility of the entire operation to operate a sustainable business. The graphic depicting the simplified portion of Gore’s supply chain map is an eye opener. You can easily find hundreds of suppliers and vendors, 3PL’s, distributions centers and warehouses that need to be managed for just one company receiving and sending goods.
By mapping the supply chain, you ensure that your goods are produced with the best possible materials and resources for the best price in the optimal location. But, is that enough to keep your business in good shape?
Currently 39% of retailers and vendors are already operating at omnichannel level and 58% are ramping up or have a plan in process*. These operations demand a lot more visibility than just seeing what is done and where. You need to know exactly where within the location, or between the locations, the goods are moving and the condition they are in.
New technologies are needed to ensure the data that can verify the location and condition of goods, can be incorporated in the mapping and visualization of the supply chain. Retailers have used barcode and RFID technologies in the past. This has brought a lot of benefits to the optimization of the supply chain. However, there is room for further improvement. Combining the mentioned technologies with Wirepas Mesh for location data and sensor data collection will make sure that the fast circulation of goods can be supported with goods in mint condition. Wirepas Mesh enables very light infrastructure:
- Inventory – no need for infrastructure other than the tags on the assets / pallets
- Sensor data collection – no need for infrastructure other than the tags on the assets / pallets
- Goods-in/goods-out – only a couple anchor devices to verify the point of entry / exit
- Location data – light infrastructure of small, battery operated devices that can be hidden from the consumer eye. The number and density of anchors correlates to accuracy
The benefits of incorporating such technologies for the supply chain can be as simple as:
- Sensor monitoring ensures visibility of the condition of goods. This gives an ability to react to discrepancies that helps a) cut down losses by keeping goods sellable or b) when goods are spoiled keeping the sales downtime to minimum with faster replenishments.
- Fast and automated goods-in process and data speeds replenishment processes
- Ensure efficient First in First Out methods while item ID’s and accurate inventory and location data is in use à less discounted sales