Today, Bob Trebilcock published a fascinating article at Supply Chain 247 entitled What Does It Take To Remain A Supply Chain Leader? It features interviews with Intel, P&G, Unilever and Cisco. Key themes they shared included connecting their supply chains with instrumentation to feed information to centralized operations and control towers. This operational data enables them to respond faster to customer demand, while still gaining economies of scale. At PINC, we have been busy enabling operational data collection in yards and over the road to feed control towers for our customers. Whatever industry your supply chain operation supports, the need to collect real-time event information at low cost is a foundational need.
Automating data collection on the road and in the yard
Newer, lower cost sensors are finding their way into supply chains. These include passive RFID tags for trailers and telematics that are built into vehicles to gather over-the-road shipment locations. Inventorying what trailers are in the yard and their location can be automated by RFID tagging them and instrumenting yard trucks to automatically read tags as they travel go about their usual business of moving trailers around. This approach has the benefit of continuously verifying where trailers are, but relies on visits to distant corners of the facility to ensure currency of all location data.
To ensure full yard coverage, we are developing low cost drone based readers or digital assistants we call “PINC Air” to perform regular scheduled tours of the entire facility to confirm where assets are. You can click on https://www.pinc.com/warehouse-drone-inventory-management/ to learn more about PINC Air.
Feeding Control Towers
Bob’s article talks to the importance of getting reliable logistical data from connected supply chains, as it forms the foundation of the these leading companies strategies for using big data and analytics to make decisions in real time and respond to changes demand and conditions.
Leaders recognize the need to get a holistic, enterprise-wide view of their supply chains to drive further customer service improvements.