Supply Chain – Transparency Leads to Success

15.02.2021 by Pauline Batzer
Stacked containers in a container port

Flexible supply chains are a decisive competitive advantage. To be better able to react to unforeseen developments, companies need transparency and are digitizing their supply chains.

Empty shelves are refilled as if by magic. At the BMW works in Leipzig a small smart button ensures that all components are always available on the production line – from light sockets and door handles to the gearshift. Instead of stopping work and calling the stores to order replacement stock, all that is required today is to press the IoT Service Button on the shelf. Before running out of, say, gearshifts the fitter presses the service button to place the order. The button is connected with the transportation and storage system via a cloud. Warehouse operatives see at a glance which parts are required and replenish them accordingly. Assembly line fitters can concentrate entirely on their work and waiting times are minimized.

Transparency Drives Digitization

Managing processes and orders by means of digital technologies ensures transparency in the supply chain. If a company also shares its data, information and analyses with its customers and partners, cooperation is improved considerably. Everyone then has an opportunity to optimize their supply chain management and respond to unforeseen developments faster and better. According to the Smarter Logistics eBook a transparent supply chain is for logistics experts their company’s most important digitization driver.

Bar chart with percentages of drivers for supply chain digitization

Digital Makes You Resistant – For the Future Too

If you track goods flows in real time, warn customers about bottlenecks and can tell them exactly when their shipments will arrive you will be more resistant, both in general and in times of crisis. The covid-19 crisis has provided impressive proof of this claim, sorting out the wheat from the chaff in business. According to the eBook, the coronavirus crisis losers include those companies that supply bottlenecks took by surprise because they had no supply chain risk management. To assess and manage risks and take appropriate counter-measures, however, they need data from other companies. That requires IT systems such as open platforms and interfaces to connect everyone who is involved. They enable data to be shared securely and conjure the entire supply chain from end to end onto computer screens.

Customers Love Transparency and Sustainability

How do my (potential) customers rate my products and services? Must I switch supplier or improve my product to continue to be successful in the future? Getting that right is also decisively important for business success. One reason why is that consumers are increasingly willing, for the environment’s sake, to pay more for products if they can accurately trace where and under which conditions they were produced. Sustainability is the order of the day because consumers honor and reward products that are made resource-savingly und CO2-neutrally. Deutsche Telekom, for example, has a We care label for especially sustainable products, services and initiatives. That is how the German telco makes customers and partners aware of projects with an added ecological and social value. Yet without a supply chain that is digitized from end to end, providers are hardly in a position to offer a comprehensive insight.

Benefit From the Digital Dividend

How do you digitize logistics and benefit from the digital dividend? The Smarter Logistics eBook lists innovation models and use cases. It names the most important action areas for smart logistics and provides practical hints on how to optimize existing processes. The eBook is available to download free of charge.


 

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Pauline Batzer
Pauline Batzer

Project Manager IoT

Since 2015, Pauline has been passionate about the variety of the IoT world. She has gained a lot of experience with the Internet of Things from different perspectives by working with customers, partners, and start-up companies. For the Telekom IoT blog she writes about technological trends, products, and innovations in the Internet of Things which are implemented in different industries.