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Posted on October 02, 2019

Using Real-Time Information to Create a 'Smart' Supply Chain

Ally Pulskamp
Written by

Ally Pulskamp

Posted in
Supply Chain

smart supply chain

From the Old Days of Paper & Fax to Electronic Communications

Today the relationships in industrial distribution are complex, requiring channels of communication between manufacturers of parts and components to effectively communicate with their distribution network electronically, on a real-time basis. This method of communication is known as EDI, electronic data interchange. 

EDI sends digital information from one business system to another and makes the connection between the manufacturer and distributor via e-commerce, CMS, ERP, WMS, accounting software and more. The use of electronic data communications replaces the traditional order processes that used to be accomplished with paper or fax.

A recent survey of 1,000 industrial supply chain executives was conducted to ascertain the primary technologies that are affecting their businesses. The output of the survey identified inventory and network optimization, cloud computing software and data storage, predictive analytics and IoT (the Internet of Things) as the principal components. It is projected that at their current pace manufactures will have spent over $280 billion annually on the digitalization of their supply chains by 2020. This goes beyond the simple adoption of technologies. Manufacturers and distributors must instead emphasize how to best utilize these technologies in a more economical and effective manner to develop an empirically ‘smart’ supply chain. Manufacturers and their partner distributors that employ scalable technologies that effectively exchange and make use of information in real-time can optimize their communication platforms and significantly improve supply chain performance.


This blog is an excerpt from our latest whitepaper, How Industrial Manufacturers Use Technology to Partner with Distributors. Click here or on the link below to download your free whitepaper! 

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