What is Supply Chain 4.0?

The whole world is always looking for the next big thing. And your company is looking to be on the cutting edge of technology. As we come into the year 2019, one of the biggest new terms is Supply Chain 4.0. You may be wondering what it is and how we got to version 4? Hopefully this article will help fill in some gaps in your knowledge and give you the information you need to take your company to the next level.

Supply Chain 4.0 stems from another term, Industry 4.0. Before we can understand how Supply Chain 4.0 works, we must understand the revolutions that have been happening in the industrial sector. Industry 1.0 (water and steam power) kicked off a huge growth in the sector, and Industry 2.0 (assembly line and mass production) brought products like the car to the general public. Industry 3.0 was the start of adding computer automation to industrial production. 4.0 continues this move towards computer dominated infrastructure by adding cloud services and AI machine learning. The ability for a computer to be connected to every other computer opens a whole world of new technology for the Logistics industry. Supply Chain 4.0 is the beneficiary of this technology and becomes faster, more precise, and more efficient.

What is Supply Chain 4.0 capable of?

Take a moment and think of the advantages Supply Chain 4.0 can bring to your company. Because human error has been removed from a lot of the processes, orders can be more specific and precise. This means more choice for your customers! Because of advances in computer automation, shipping your products to customers in rural areas has never been easier. Logistics is now no longer stuck in metropolitan areas. The supply chain can reach even the most remote of your customer base. Connected computers and machine learning have also increased the data available to your logistics department. Computers can take these trends and variables and create meaningful optimizations and money savers. For example, the system can proactively make decisions based on common shipping hazards such as weather, time zones, and multiple trucking companies. Another new technology that uses computer learning is predictive shipping. The computer can analyze trends in supply and demand and proactively ship orders to stores before a customer even orders something.

How can you take advantage of Supply Chain 4.0?

Currently, Supply Chain 4.0 represents a work in progress. A lot of these ideas are possible but are not ready or available now. Over the coming years, the industry will see more adoption of Supply Chain 4.0’s principles and systems. So how can your company start to take advantage of this technological leap? One of the easiest entry level ways is through a Transportation Management System (TMS).

Transportation Management Systems like Propel TMS are one of the leading ways to move your company forward into Supply Chain 4.0. Propel uses the cloud technology of Supply Chain 4.0 to manage your shipments, carriers, and freight bills. Studies have shown that on average, a company sees a 9% reduction in shipping costs and a 12% reduction in freight savings when switching to a TMS. If you are a shipping manager, you will love Propel’s real-time tracking and supply chain visibility. Because of these tools you will see your order accuracy increase and your shipping errors decrease. If you are a transportation manager, you will love Propel’s tracking of carrier data and built in robust report functionality. With these tools, you can track which carriers are working best for you and use Propel’s data set to make proactive business decisions for future growth.


Does a TMS like Propel sound like the right move for your company? If so, you can introduce your company to the benefits of Supply Chain 4.0 today! Visit propeltms.com and get a demo from one of our TMS experts.

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