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Solving India’s Complex Supply Chain Integration Challenges

Vipin Kumar Ojha | 11 January 2022

This decade has seen the most dramatic shifts in technologies, especially in the adoption of digital transformation. Every department in the organization has developed its unique way of digitization to connect with its buyers.

Whether it is the sourcing of raw materials, the assignment of planned production schedules, transportation and warehousing, or delivery and customer management, companies need to understand the value-added benefits of supply chain integration to have complete control over their overall supply chain and to gain valuable insight into the functionality and efficiency of their network.

Moreover, as technological advancement continues for the supply chain, so does the increasing competition for most companies. With the rise in contactless deliveries and digital payment methods in India, ecommerceonline grocery shopping apps and e-pharmacies are modifying how distribution centers and cold supply chains can operate.

With this, the nature of supply chain challenges faces a new level; the distribution centres across India have a boost in SKUs, which requires handling throughputs with minimal error. On the other hand, customers are much aware of the processes and seek real-time tracking, which organizations often fail to understand. Let’s take a look at the challenges and potential solutions.

Significant Supply Chain Integration Challenges to Note

  • Manufacturers, Warehouses and Logistics Partner Collaborations
    Production facilities and hubs are spread across the globe, working in different time zones and with their own rules. It is vital to have end-to-end visibility to ensure the right product is manufactured and scheduled to ship to the correct location. With an overall integrated supply chain network, the managers can prioritize and plan the production to secure on-time delivery.
  • Real-Time Communication and Data Analysis
    Knowing how your warehouse operation is performing and which warehouse is short of stock is critical to making decisions for the company's growth. With system integrations, everyone can communicate data or product information in real-time. Supply chain planners can adapt to any order fluctuation the moment it happens to pull the right product quantities.
  • Material Flow and Inventory Transparency
    The commonly used statements in warehouses are how many products must be shipped, how many are left, and where are the products placed. Full integration will allow managers to view, track, and modify the movements of inventories in the warehouses according to the demand or production levels.

Technologies Solving the Complex Integration Supply Chain Challenges

By using either robots in storage and retrieval systems or virtual and digital tools in picking technologies, organizations can make operational activities more efficient, error-free, and streamlined. With the warehouse management system, real-time communication establishes a synchronized and collaborative working space and provides transparency for material flow and order fulfilment requirements to manufacturers, warehouses and logistics partners. The, high-end control software helps in data analysis across various stages allowing managers to modify the current process setup for efficient fulfilment planning, waste elimination and demand fluctuations.

However, there are a few clogs where human labour lags what an automated warehouse can achieve. Once a customer orders a particular product, its journey begins in the supply chain. For example, an employee receives a notification of the product order and needs a pickup. The employee/picker will make their way to the product to find the correct object, pick it up and transfer it for the shipment. With digital transformation in the supply chain, these tedious steps can be removed from the equation in a few ways.

Automated warehouses have begun implementing small robots that can quickly traverse a storage system or warehouse and find the actual object via SKU, UPC, or in some cases through RFID. These warehousing robots are ready to move at any moment and do not have to drop other tasks to grab the product they need to pick up. The packed product travels on conveyors with sensors and high-speed sorters to sort the item at the right dispatching bay without losing track of the product at any point. Automated vehicle loading systems complete the task of arranging the products inside a vehicle in an optimum manner.

Tailored Warehouse Material Handling & Fulfilment Solutions

Every company may have a different set of supply chain integration challenges. However, with a consultative approach and deploying digital supply chain software, vision or voice-guided picking on systems like ASRS, goods to person, goods to robot, conveyors, high-speed sorters, robotics and custom automation solutions, we help our clients overcome the inbound, operational and outbound related supply chain challenges.

Strategies used by Bastian Solutions either standalone or in combination with others, provide a lasting competitive edge in the marketplace by combining the powers of scalable material handling systems, integrating innovative software and custom automation engineering for complete, unique solutions. Our experts are always standing by and ready to assist with an evaluation of your application.

Author: Vipin Kumar Ojha

Vipin is a Sr. Sales and Application Engineer at Bastian Solutions India. He received his mechanical engineering degree from Mumbai University and has more than five years of application and sales experience in the intralogistics and automation industry.

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