The Power of Technology Enabled Supply Chain

In order to attain a transparent bi-directional communication channel between all the stakeholders and pace-up the supply chain, collaboration is essential. By virtue of a collaborative supply chain, a singular view of goods and services among various entities involved in the value chain can be obtained. It not only improves the supplier-buyer relationship through value enhancement, but also increases productivity. The collaborative nature facilitates better utilization of resources and more efficient management. This research service offers insights on how ICT may evolve to accelerate collaboration for Supply Chain vendors.

Research Scope

In order to attain a transparent bi-directional communication channel between all the stakeholders and pace-up the supply chain, collaboration is essential. By virtue of a collaborative supply chain, a singular view of goods and services among various entities involved in the value chain can be obtained. It not only improves the supplier-buyer relationship through value enhancement, but also increases productivity. The collaborative nature facilitates better utilization of resources and more efficient management.

This research service offers insights on how Information and Communication technologies (ICT) may evolve to accelerate collaboration amongst Supply Chain stakeholders. It also offers an in-depth perspective on the road ahead, capability and maturity of the ICT technologies enabling collaboration, and provides recommendations for the stakeholders of the technology to enhance their penetration in the market.

This report provides:
• Brief snapshot of Collaboration Supply Chain, how it differs from Conventional Supply Chain; key benefits or strengths; and key challenges
• ICT Intervention to realizing the concept
• A perspective on key R&D focus areas; Funding Initiatives and Key Initiatives from the standardization bodies in the technology space related to Supply Chain
• A snapshot of key stakeholder activities with key innovations and emerging applications
• Detailed perspective of the various technologies that enable collaborative supply chain process
• Technology roadmap that analyzes the evolution of different kinds of technologies and products that might develop to address various customer demands in coming years. Roadmap also depicts interactions of the ICT technologies with the Mega Trends and other technologies

Key Findings

Need for effective vehicle tracking for logistics and transportation; (manufacturing field being highly dependent on customer behavior) real-time Geo-tracking and social behavior tracking analytical applications could be highly accepted in a short time span of 2 years. Emergence of these application will also accelerate several Mega-trends like Urbanization and Social trends leveraging technologies like Cloud Computing, Big Data, In-memory technology and Data Visualization.

In the next - years, Retail industry is expected to witness changes in business processes from conventional model to collaborative supply chain model. After the emergence of applications for Manufacturing, Logistics and Transportation, it is expected that Retail industry will utilize these applications for the business processes along with development of new application segment like Vehicle and Machinery Life monitoring and Carbon Emission control applications that leverage emerging technologies like Augmented Reality and Context Aware Mobility.

In the next Xto X years, further advancement of manufacturing and logistics applications could bring in new applications for the energy and healthcare markets. Reverse Logistics and Process Simulation will become prominent. This will also bring in New Business Models in the value chain.

New technologies such as Nano Sensors , Ubiquitous Wireless Sensors and Grid Energy management would enable development of comprehensive applications for the Collaborative Supply Chain. Emergence of these advanced technologies will also enable new Mega Trends such as Connectivity & Convergence, Smart Energy Management.

Leveraging ICT in the collaborative supply chain process could be segmented into four broad categories- Data capture, Communication & Preprocessing, Forecasting and Collaborative Approach. Various technologies like RFID, Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things and In-memory Technology play a vital role in developing the collaboration platform. Cloud Computing acts as the backbone for the process. Security for data sharing being a major challenge for ICT technologies, innovation activities are geared towards this space.

European innovators are more aligned towards technology and application development for Collaborative supply chains. This is followed by the APAC region and then North America.

Developing technologies and platform for communication and data capture procedure are major focus areas for the technology developers and investors in the space. Applications geared towards logistics and transport management is also gaining interest. Other emerging applications include Analytical and forecasting solution for Social Behavior tracking, Application for Tracking Carbon emission and Applications for Reverse Logistics.

Technology capability to share information over a single platform at low cost and its present level of maturity has accelerated implementation of Cloud Computing technology for development of Collaborative Supply Chain process. Emerging technologies like Big Data Analytics and Internet of Things are also slowly emerging with innovative solutions for the space. Security technologies require attention from technology developers to accelerate the process of adoption for Collaborative Supply Chain.

Research Methodology

Step 1: To provide a thorough analysis of each topic, Technical Insights’ analysts perform a review of patents to become familiar with the major developers and commercial participants and their processes.

Step 2: Building on the patent search, the analysts review abstracts to identify key scientific and technical papers that provide insights into key industry participants and the technical processes, on which they work.

Step 3: The analysts then create a detailed questionnaire with content created to address the research objectives of the study, which functions as a guide during the interview process. While the analysts use structured questionnaires to guarantee coverage of all the desired issues, they also conduct interviews in a conversational style. This approach results in a more thorough exchange of views with the respondents, and offers greater insight into the relevant issues than more structured interviews may provide.

Step 4: The analysts conduct primary research with key industry participants and technology developers to obtain the required content. Interviews are completed with sources located throughout the world, in universities, national laboratories, governmental and regulatory bodies, trade associations, and end-user companies, among other key organizations. Our analysts contact the major commercial participants to find out about the advantages and disadvantages of processes and the drivers and challenges behind technologies and applications. Our analysts talk to the principal developers, researchers, engineers, business developers, analysts, strategic planners, and marketing experts, among other professionals.

Step 5: The project management and research team reviews and analyzes the research data that are gathered and adds its recommendations to the draft of the final study. Having conducted both published studies and custom proprietary research covering many types of new and emerging technology activities as well as worldwide industry analysis, the management and research team adds its perspective and experience to provide an accurate, timely analysis. The analysts then prepare written final research services for each project and sometimes present key findings in analyst briefings to clients.

Collaborative Supply Chain – A Brief Snapshot

Supply Chain refers to a network of facilities and distribution options that help in the transformation of procured materials into finished products for distribution to the customers.
Collaboration in the supply chain is realized in wide range of forms with a common goal of creating a transparent, two way communication between the different stakeholders to effectively manage the entire supply chain.
Collaborative process enables a singular view of goods and services among all the entities of the value chain.

Importance of Collaborative Supply Chain
• Improves buyer-supplier relationship through value enhancement
• In the long term implementation of collaborative supply chain reduces cost for the customers
• Extended network helps in building trust and in gaining business from word of mouth referral strategy
• Long-term collaboration facilitates R&D initiates among technology developers for more optimized business processes
• Supply chain collaboration helps in meeting uncertain, fluctuating demand patterns.

Conventional Vs Collaborative Supply Chains
Transitioning from a Step-Model to a Centralized Model Reduces the Demand-Supply Gap

Conventional Supply Chain:
Primarily involves a series of steps where goods get transferred from one stakeholder to the next in a sequential order. For example, the Initiator (raw material supplier) transfers goods or services to the manufacturing entity against the order placed by the later. The good or service is transferred to the next in the chain till it reaches the customer.
This step model is plagued with transparency issues causing demand-supply gap.

Collaborative Supply Chain:
is focused towards creating transparency amongst stakeholders in the value chain. It adopts a centralized approach where every entity could seamlessly communicate with each other and everybody is aware of the demand and supply status of the whole value chain.
Leveraging the centralized approach maintains a perfect balance between the user (demand) and supplier thereby reducing the communication gap in the process.

Table Of Contents

Table of Contents

Executive Summary 4
Technology Snapshot 9
Collaborative Supply Chain 10
Key Technologies Enabling Collaboration 15
RandD Network Analysis 16
Stakeholder Initiatives 22
Enabling Technologies 27
• Cloud Computing 29
• Internet of Things 30
• RFID 31
• Big Data Analytics 32
• In-memory Computing 33
• Security Technologies 34
Collaborative Supply Chain Roadmap 35
Analyst Insights 37
Key Contacts; Patents and Appendix 38
The Frost and Sullivan Story 48

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