Supply chain resilience is a term that describes a supply chains ability to prepare for and adapt to unexpected events. What happens when a supply chain needs to readily adapt due to some level of disruption? Can it recover quickly and still perform at a high-level while combating negative effects? These are questions that businesses have had to answer due to problems associated with COVID-19, natural disasters, and geo-political crises. These issues have helped to expose the risks to supply chains and have highlighted the need for more supply chain resilience, agility, and efficiency. One such example of the necessity for supply chain resilience is the baby formula shortage that rocked the nation.
Advancing technologies like automated solutions and the Internet of Things are helping to improve supply chain resilience. The ability to receive real-time data and on-demand analysis is helping 3PLs and distribution centers to mitigate risk stemming from supply chain disruption. Technology is allowing 3PLs and warehouses to locate replacement products and establish new shipping routes to keep work-in-progress, so warehouse inventories are not out-of-stock. By increasing their supply chains end-to-end visibility, companies can predict and make adjustments to mitigate disruptions . This allows them to place early orders for materials or modify them before issues arise.
When businesses digitize and use their systems to collect and analyze big data, they can quickly improve their supply chain resiliency. By calibrating technologies such as AI & machine learning with their warehouse management systems, connected devices can communicate with employees or one another in real-time. This drives automation throughout warehouses and networks, giving supply chain managers insights into preventing and responding to unexpected events.