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Revolutionizing Supply Chain Operations with Data-Driven Logistics

The supply chain logistics industry forms the backbone of our interconnected global economy. Over the years, this sector has evolved in response to new technologies and fluctuating market demands. The expert talks at the Smart Manufacturing & IoT Summit in Berlin focused on how we’re now witnessing a major shift, the wave of digitalization, transforming traditional business models and operational processes. 

The current state of supply chain data challenges

According to Prof. Dr. Torsten Becker, the Head of the Supply Chain Management Study Program at SRH Berlin University of Applied Sciences, the industry is full of inherent challenges, such as incomplete demand information and demand volatility. Recent surveys reveal that a majority of supply chain operations deal with incomplete demand information. This issue, when coupled with the omnipresent nature of future demand volatility, necessitates a shift from traditional product understanding. 

In the face of these challenges, digitalization emerges as a crucial solution. Digital tools that capture data, compute, communicate, and find patterns can structure information, thereby enhancing decision-making processes and helping manage volatility. 

Revolutionizing operations: the digitalization process in supply chain logistics

Digitalization of business operations involves several key steps, one of which is digitizing business processes. This addresses the 'hidden factories' in the system, leading to improved data collection, enhanced information, and insightful decision-making. 

The digitalization process relies on five levers - data capture, computation, communication, pattern finding, and AI-driven information structuring. Each lever plays a pivotal role in amplifying the performance of supply chain and logistics operations. 

Data availability for fast insights is central to the digitalization process. It's crucial to understand customer needs and predict future demands. Data not only catalyzes business process digitalization but also accelerates decisions. By collecting more data, companies gain better insights, empowering them to adapt swiftly to changes and meet customer demands effectively. 

Prof. Dr. Torsten Becker Head of Supply Chain Management Study Program at the Smart Manufacturing & IoT Berlin Summit

Prof. Dr. Torsten Becker, the Head of the Supply Chain Management Study Program at SRH Berlin University of Applied Sciences

The next chapter in supply chain logistics 

As we gaze into the future, digital transformation is poised to remodel traditional business models in the industry. Stefan Viehmann, a Guest Lecturer at the Technical University of Applied Sciences Wildau, emphasized the crucial role of AI and Big Data in shaping the future of the industry, focusing on their ability to accelerate decision-making, enhance information quality, and provide valuable data insights.

In this scenario, real-time tracking of every vessel and airplane, throughput of key infrastructure such as ports, monitoring on/off events like strikes or weather, commodity level input stats like Oil & Gas, and proprietary real-time trade data become critical elements of a data-driven approach in supply chain and logistics. 

Stefan Viehmann from Technical University of Applied Sciences Wildau at the Smart Manufacturing & IoT SummitStefan Viehmann, a Guest Lecturer at the Technical University of Applied Sciences Wildau

CrateDB: a database solution for supply chain logistics 

CrateDB, the enterprise database for time series, documents, and vectors, is pivotal in optimizing supply chain and logistics processes. By integrating IoT devices and offering real-time analytics, CrateDB enables efficient shipment tracking, precise inventory management, and route optimization. Its scalable storage and predictive maintenance capabilities ensure streamlined operations, enhanced visibility, and improved customer satisfaction across the supply chain. 

While digital transformation can enhance supply chain logistics performance, it requires a well-thought-out long-term strategy. Understanding the potential of digitalization and having a framework for its execution is crucial. This strategy should focus on understanding customer requirements, having the capabilities to deliver what the company gets paid for, and the drive to ensure that the company achieves its objectives.