How can Supply Chains be improved by utilising technology?
Supply Chain automation can be split into 4 primary segments:
1. Financial Supply Chain – Concerned with the flow of financial documents (Purchase orders, Invoicing & payments)
2. Physical Supply Chains – Concerned with the physical flow of goods and associated logistics
3. Indirect services – Concerned with the flow of indirect goods and services
4. Quality of compliance – Concerned with the quality, inspection or risk associated with the movement of product
The above priorities can be addressed and deliver tangible cost reduction benefits whilst increasing compliance by combining both RPA (Robotic Process Automation) & Blockchain technology.
Financial Supply Chain - The process would work something like this: A supplier submits an invoice. The procurement bot ingests the
paper invoice, digitises it, and performs several checks, e.g., for missing information, supplier name in the system, purchase order limit, and actual contract pay-outs. If there are discrepancies, the bot decides what to do based on specific rules and uses intelligent automation to address exceptions. Using procurement bots for accounts payable can help reduce invoice reconciliation errors that can at times lead to remittance errors
Physical Supply Chain – Utilising Blockchain and overlaying this with a front-end application will create trust, transparency and authenticity which can be applied to create enhanced efficiency with communication which therefore improves the flow of goods
Indirect Services – Managing Indirect spend has grown in importance as businesses experience rising inflation associated to commodities and direct spend. Manage Indirect spend is a time-consuming process which often involves large volume of suppliers. Applying automation through a combination of Smart Contracting and eProcurement can reduce cost and provide precious time back to Procurement teams that are often stretched
Quality of compliance – Applying a Blockchain platform provides a technology solution that enhances communication across multiple tiers of the supply chain. In doing so certification relating to sustainability and anti-slavery can be provided on a platform that is immutable and due to participation of multiple parties authentication and transparency is increased.