Digitization of the supply chain is a key reason for the boom in the B2B e-commerce space. Business entities have now started using apps and digital platforms for business transactions & analyses. The entire supply chain is becoming tech driven and this is changing inventory management, pricing, last-mile logistics and other activities.
It is only a matter of 3-5 years before digital app-driven platforms are going to entirely manage market inventory in this segment, as they are currently using secondary and tertiary supply chain digitization in the FMCG segment. Technology is helping manufacturers by introducing products into the market within a short span of time compared to traditional market. Demand generation is now changing; the cycles of consumption are shorter, so inventory is reducing. Just in time, manufacturing is also increasing because cost of logistics needs taming.
Technology advancement in Supply chain:
Technologies like AI and big data are helping manufacturers to analyze complex sets of data and arrive at a pattern along with optimizing the entire business process. Advanced technologies such as RFID chips and barcodes in products help provide real time actionable data to manufacturers and end customers. Technology companies are leveraging on these data feeds to effectively manage route plans and thus save huge costs for end customers and logistics companies. Latest technologies like Blockchain are being experimented on highly decentralized supply chain management such as smart contracts to help manufacturers track higher value goods with its unique attributes.
Scalability of supply chain logistics:
B2B ecommerce is mainly a repetitive business with higher transactional value; hence, increased operational efficiency will decrease the pricing of products, thus benefitting both customers and manufacturers. GST implementation is another factor which has given a huge push for B2B ecommerce and logistics companies. Logistics parks are witnessing increased activities which is attracting global investors. Last mile deliveries are becoming accessible at affordable costs which is a boon for e-commerce companies.
Technology advancement in B2C supply chain:
Many logistics & ecommerce companies are now exploring drones for intra city deliveries. Drones in distribution centers offer the potential to increase flexibility and combine the speed of automated handling equipment with the scalability of manual warehouse workforce. Companies like Amazon, Walmart are already trailing drone deliveries to end customers which is predominately in B2C deliveries, however drones will be efficient in managing warehouse operations as well.
As the scale increases in B2B transactions, complexities will increase, addressing to customer demands will be challenging and the only way to cater to these problems is through advancement in technology
Mr. TGC Prasad, Founder & CEO, mSupply.com