The fourth industrial revolution has already begun, along with the transformation of existing value chains and networks. Sensors and networks 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 approach across organizations and processes. The market currently offers just a variety of individual technical solutions such as transportation management systems, interconnected containers, and 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 makes it possible to harness the full potential of a connected supply chain and Logistics 4.0 through an integrated end-to-end approach to supply chain management, transportation and networks, as well as intralogistics.
The end-to-end digital supply chain
A digital supply chain following the 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, scalable and leaner 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 up to 20 percent in supply chain, quality, and maintenance, each, and even more than 30 percent in inventory, are made possible.
The proven 4flow framework for the digital supply chain shows that only an end-to-end approach will lead to success. 4flow experts possess all the necessary experience in supply chain management, transportation and networks, and intralogistics to design a successful digital supply chain strategy.
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