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Digital Supply Chain

An integrated view of supply chain management, transportation, and intralogistics is the basis of a digital supply chain.

The fourth industrial revolution has already begun, along with the transformation of existing value chains and networks. Extensive connectedness now allows machines, warehousing systems, equipment and products to exchange information, prompting autonomous actions and enabling them to control one another’s activities. The central promise of the Industrial Internet is complete transparency from supplier to customer, networked processes, and decentralized management, in addition to cost-effective small batch manufacturing and high numbers of variants. These goals can only be achieved with a digital supply chain shaped by Logistics 4.0.

The essential characteristic of supply chain digitization – also referred to as Logistics 4.0 or the digital supply chain – is its implementation across organizations and processes. The market currently offers just a variety of individual technical solutions such as transportation management systems, interconnected containers or driverless transportation systems. On their own these elements form merely parts of the digital manufacturing supply chain; making them contributors to a larger overall concept of complete connection along the entire supply chain.

4flow consulting makes it possible to harness the full potential of a connected supply chain and Logistics 4.0 through an integrated approach to supply chain management, transportation and networks, as well as intralogistics.

Benefits of the digital supply chain

A digital supply chain designed according to 4flow principles provides these benefits:

  • Complete transparency along the entire supply chain in real time
  • Centralized, location-independent availability of all supply chain-relevant information in the cloud
  • Clear optimization potential through Big Data applications
  • Reduction of management complexity through decentralized, autonomous decision making
  • Adjustments in production, throughput and layout facilitated by flexible and scalable material flow structures
  • Open interface software design for easy vertical and horizontal collaboration
  • Increased automation through human-machine interaction
  • Minimization of errors in complex processes through augmented reality solutions

Potential cost savings of 20 percent in supply chain, quality, and maintenance, each, and more than 30 percent in inventory costs are made possible.

4flow’s approach

4flow consulting framework for Logistics 4.0.
4flow consulting framework for Logistics 4.0.

The proven 4flow consulting framework for the digital supply chain shows that only an end-to-end approach will lead to success. 4flow consultants possess all the necessary experience in supply chain management, transportation and networks, and intralogistics to design a successful digital supply chain strategy.

As a first step towards this strategy, 4flow consulting begins with an audit of digital supply chain and Logistics 4.0 readiness. In doing this, all supply chain processes are documented and evaluated based on their alignment with Industrial Internet aspects. 4flow compares the results with a maturity model that considers an organization’s individual requirements. 4flow consultants then create a roadmap using best practice insights. 4flow also provides solution implementation support.

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