What is the Supply Chain?

If we switch around the word order, it is much easier to understand: supply chain management is the management of the chain of supplies. Everything comes from somewhere, and a supply chain manager has to determine the best way to get certain things and transport them somewhere else.

They must take a step back and examine the way everything is connected and try to predict the effects of the actions taken to transport things from one location to another – in other words, if water is needed, they cannot just drain an entire river, there has to be a formula in place to prevent disaster.

shipping storage2 Innovations Influencing the Supply Chain

The supply chain has been the foundation of commerce and business despite never having been officially dubbed as such. It includes companies, businesses and whole industries in every step it takes to provide a service to a customer.

However, just like the other parts of the world, the supply chain is changing over time. Businesses are drawn to the technological innovations that enter the corporate world, and everyone is trying to determine how they can incorporate them into their businesses and improve production.

Automation and Artificial Intelligence

AI and machine learning are being implemented across a multitude of industries. No surprise there, considering most of the latest tech innovations are using more advanced AI with learning capabilities.

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The research on neural networks are growing at a steady pace, which process large sets of data to get information on how to make new content based on that existing information, hence the growth of artificial intelligence. These networks are then projected to have a substantial amount of potential in predictive and prescriptive ways.

Concurrently, AI is being programmed and improved so that it can fill the role of being the ‘brain’ of autonomous vehicles. The most prominent example is the development of autonomous electric cars. Various sensors are installed into the vehicle, enabling it to make decisions and react to the behaviour of other vehicles on the road without the assistance of a human driver.

Big Data and Advanced Analytics

Fundamental quests for most marketing departments are what exactly customers want, why they choose the products they choose, how we can identify what they will buy next, and how can we convince them to choose our product instead of another. Up until now, these questions have been answered by surveys and advertising campaigns.

This data can be recovered much more easily now, however, by using platforms such as social media networks, e-commerce platforms and places like Facebook Marketplace. A new idea has grown within some companies that these marketing questions will not only be answered for now, but also for the future.

This idea is called ‘big data’.

Big data refers to the massive sets of data for corporate use that are recovered from e-commerce platforms and online marketplaces. Computers are equipped with the ability to process this data and spit out statistics that the company can then use to their benefit.

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