5 supply chain technologies to watch

There are many promising technologies that aim to help the healthcare supply chain streamline operations and improve efficiencies. Below are five to watch, according to BBN Times, an online source of expert analysis on global issues.

1. Blockchain. Blockchain has the promise of bringing high-level traceability to the supply chain because managers can track the status of a product in real time. In addition, smart contracts, which are one of the applications of blockchain, have built-in automation, which may ease transaction and payment management for supply shipments.

2. RPA.  Robotic Process Automation refers to software robots with machine-learning capabilities. They may be able to replace the manual, time-consuming and error-prone parts of a business.  RPA products may help supply chain companies automate back office tasks to allow employees to focus on high-quality, complex matters.

3. Artificial intelligence. AI has a lot of potential applications in the supply chain. Chatbots are one example. They can handle all the paperwork with accuracy, efficiency and speed. Chatbots could have an application for tracking the order details of a shipment or taking care of invoices and transactions.  

4. Internet of things. The most common method for asset tracking is sequence numbers and bar codes. However, IoT sensors and cameras can help supply managers find granular data on the product and its location at any point. IoT also has the ability to improve fleet management by connecting fleets and tracking shipments. Overall, with IoT, companies can expedite the tracking of goods and  improve transparency.

5. Wearables. Product downtime causes revenue loss for organizations involved in logistics and supply chain. Product inspectors may be able to diminish these losses  with the use of wearables. Augmented reality glasses have shown promise in helping inspectors detect glitches.

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