We see ourselves sprinting towards a more equitable world with a two-fold imperative of future-readiness and sustainable digital transformation. However, amidst these opportunities are dire challenges to overcome. The world has been catapulted into crisis after crisis with the ongoing geo-political tensions, the need for climate change, a massive health pandemic, and a fragmented global economy. As a result, the global supply chain that was built to operate at optimized costs with high reliability and in a steady environment no longer exists.
There is much that needs to be done to restructure these supply chains, reduce vulnerability, and reach the desired state of stability. And the only way we can is by making next-generation technologies the common denominator. Our goal as technology leaders must be to engage in dialogue, synergize with the best minds, and create solutions that addresses specific problem areas, such as labor shortages, overburdened shipping lines and critical component unavailability, to enable a resilient supply chain of the future.
Taking the Sustainable Transformation Route
Supply chain management has always been a critical part of any business. While a significant number of companies today are still exploring new-age technologies, some are transforming their processes and protocols to achieve resilience while being competitive.
For one, think of how blockchain can help increase visibility across the entire supply chain. Coupled with enterprise resource planning (ERP) and track-and-trace solutions, companies can get the full view of the supply chain movement and take proactive measures to mitigate risks whenever required. And if you are already leveraging machine learning (ML) and analytics, this will help immensely with predicting possible risks that may arise in the near or distant future. In fact, a strong foundation in data and analytics (D&A) leveraging real-time dashboards and analytics is essential for supply chain risk management, commodity price negotiations, and supply chain diversification strategies for large enterprises.
There’s also artificial intelligence (AI) that is maturing. It has provided us the option of combining human intelligence (HI) with AI in manufacturing facilities to lower cost of labour and at the same time, address the shortage. In the same way, 3D printing can shorten the manufacturing cycle considerably across factories, create a wide range of products, and lessen dependencies on suppliers located further away.
At a broader level, technologies like the cloud will continue to play a critical role in enhancing supply chain collaborations. This is essential if we are to achieve transparency and resilience across the chain. And this will require working with different participants with the intent of collecting and exchanging real-time or near real-time data.
The goal here is to future-proof the supply chains in a way that it is sustainable for the business and the world, increase digitization to achieve operational efficiency, and leverage the right solutions to minimize risks. And it becomes imperative for us to understand exactly how technology can help us realize this goal.
Rise for a New World Order in Supply Chains
Many companies have pledged to work with suppliers that are compliant with globally recognized social/environmental regulations and standards. This has increased awareness around the need for sustainable business practices that would promote fair labour, human rights, anti-corruption, and environmental progress. According to the participants of the UN Global Compact, supply chain practices still hinder improvement of sustainability performance due to the scale and complexity of the supply chain.
Sustainability coupled with digital transformation must continue to be a top priority for supply chain companies. At Mahindra Group, we see a new world order emerging for supply chains – one that we articulate through our core philosophy we call Rise. This helps us steer the digital transformation momentum ahead while we strengthen digital capabilities with next-gen technologies – from 5G, cloud, AI, augmented reality, virtual reality to the metaverse and Web 3.0, NFT, blockchain. Our mission is to offer our customers end-to-end transformation services and create significant synergies that give rise to solutions that will guide and build the future of this world. But our larger vision remains to drive positive change in the lives of our communities and enable them to Rise.
In the new world order, we have simplified and sharpened our commitments towards sustainable digital transformation. We Rise:
- for a more equal world –Focusing on creating a more equitable world leveraging emerging technologies. We help improve traceability of insights that can help in building resilient supply chains. Through our predictive analytics models, businesses can make environmentally and economically viable improvements to their processes.
- to be future ready –Becoming more customer-focused and leveraging the latest solutions. Our digitized supply chain offerings consisting of a comprehensive set of technology, tools, experiences, methodology, and service – including real-time visibility and interactions, benchmarking, and maturity assessments – that customers can seamlessly integrate within the supply chain.
- to create value – Financially scaling up and achieving competitive dominance while increasing awareness about sustainability. We aim to create positive impact that not only impact business operations but also relevant communities and stakeholders.
In the end, this must be a collective effort. Achieving sustainability is complex and requires the expertise and resources of business leaders, policymakers, various bodies, citizens working together. With every small step we take together, we can unveil a more stable world governed by mindful growth.