It has been four decades since South Africa hosted its first supply chain conference, SAPICS. Since then, there has been significant innovation, leading to evolutionary trends and a change in approach. But, what matters more today, and has for many decades, is the service delivered versus the product produced.
Cassie Lessing, MD, Strato IT Group, a mobile business solutions provider, says that the majority of today’s industries are driven not just by technology innovation, but equally by the service provided: “Service ahead of product is not new, but as the supply chain industry continues to develop, the importance of service will develop, gaining focus and importance. In fact, the product will feature less and service will define success moving forward.”
Lessing says that as the industry enters the 4th Industrial Revolution, there are several emerging technologies that will influence and shape the future of supply chain: “We are faced with technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Robotics; Augmented and Virtual Reality; Artificial Intelligence, and 3D Printing. These will all influence and impact supply chain immensely, with the majority touching on the concept of service and the importance of the role it plays.”
Service can be the difference between success and failure. Lessing says that perfect order metrics often defines success for clients. He says that this mostly means delivering the right product to the right person, at the right time, with the correct information: “It’s the latter where things often go wrong, documentation is often lost, incorrect or unsigned upon delivery. This can cause significant issues for both companies and even lead to non-payment.”
Having developed a proof of delivery (POD) app four years ago, Lessing says he has first-hand knowledge of the impact this technology has had on supply-chain heavy businesses: “A perfect order before using the app was a challenge, we now have clients that are much closer to achieving their goals within the supply chain thanks to the ePOD,” says Lessing.
StratoPOD, the Strato IT Group’s app, has helped clients work towards the industry standard of ‘right first time’ and has assisted in building stronger and more information-rich supply chain departments: “The app greatly assists in improving service delivery and also provides information-rich data to the client.”
Originally published on Africa Business