One of the not-so-simple problems that plague global supply chains is transparency. Thanks to tracking sensors, mobile phones and cloud software platforms, companies have the tools to increase transparency, operational efficiency, and product traceability. By adapting technology, companies are able to better identify sources of raw materials, increase accountability, and evaluate individual suppliers.
As consumers and regulators begin to take active interest in the supply chain, technology has become more important in promoting transparency. Dangerous factories, blood diamonds, conflict minerals and other overseas ills have contributed to the globalization of manufacturing. In addition, extreme weather is an emerging force that increases the risk of downtime in the supply chain.
While there are matters that prove technology as effective, many of them are still questioned by some. Many companies have sustainability problem areas and they believe that it will take a long time before technology can solve them. In response, startups focus on the aspects of managing a supply chain rather than going beyond tracking technologies. Evidently, their budgets were not as high as their sustainability reports.
As technology evolves, it has become helpful in identifying areas for intervention. Companies now have huge leverage in terms of driving supply chain improvements. Since most users are using Smartphones, companies can use this to access data that capture what workers think about suppliers. In short, technology can be a great way to analyze specific risks in the supply chain, including safety and security.