Increasing Supply Chain Resiliency through 5G Cellular Network Technology

man flying a drone

Within the next couple of years, the majority of organisations within the manufacturing and logistic industries will have deployed the 5G technology, and this will have a notable impact, but what about supply chain resilience?

5G poses potential disruptions to organisations without a strategy. Supply chain disruption carries risks, including the inability to keep up with increased demand. To fully utilise 5G and reap its benefits, enterprises within the supply and manufacturing industries need to develop a contingency plan that uses both to add value to their end-to-end processes. Companies that plan and adopt these innovations will have a competitive advantage.

5G promises a revolutionary change in supply chain management, particularly in terms of speed and efficiency. The capabilities of 5G will allow organisations to transfer massive amounts of data and upgrade their processes from distribution to transportation. How businesses adapt to these changes will have a direct impact on their overall growth and operational efficiency.

Utilising the 5G cellular network

The faster speed and network capacity of 5G will set the high bar when it comes to customer expectations. If a company cannot meet these expectations, they will fall behind.

Two of the most significant benefits of  5G brings to the supply chain are a heightened level of communication and convenience. Customers already expect real-time updates and orders to arrive when they want them. 5G will enable retailers to meet these demands by more accurately predicting shipping delays with real-time data deployed in cloud-based platforms. 5G mixed with Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) will also enable businesses to optimise fleet routes and ensure a timely delivery experience. In the warehouse, pickers may even be guided by augmented reality to improve supply chain management and customer experiences further.

Technical improvements from 5G, the fifth generation of mobile network technology, include faster data speeds (approximately 10× faster than the current 4G LTE network), reduced latency (less lag time and a more responsive system), and improved network slicing (allowing multiple logical networks to run in a shared network infrastructure). These benefits can make or break a supply chain depending on how well a business utilises them.

To avoid supply chain disruption and deliver benefits to customers, businesses need 5G capability to deliver benefits to their customers. Balancing efficiency with resiliency will not be easy, and early stages of 5G deployment will have the potential for disruption as it replaces the 4G network processes. In many cases, building supply chain resiliency in a 5G era will also come at an additional cost, but not doing anything, will likely increase costs.

Tapping into IoT

With 5G capability, making predictions based on data will be a thing of the past as IoT devices enable real-time data sharing and more informed decision making. System-to-system communication for driverless vehicles, drones, and cloud-based platforms will leverage real-time data for decision making and empower businesses to think differently about their current infrastructure.

For enterprises that adopt IoT into their supply chain processes, they can look forward to an abundance of forward-thinking solutions that will increase business efficiency and customer satisfaction. The most prominent applications to revolutionise an IoT supply chain include:

An evolving business landscape

As customer expectations and consumer behaviour change along with this new digital landscape, businesses need to revolutionise their customer experience (CX). A focus on CX will include infrastructure-related services (such as IoT-enabled picking and tracking) as well as a focus on services geared toward the end customer.

5G allows for a more collaborative approach, giving customers an outlet to interact with brands in real-time. Video integration can manage customer interactions along with virtual reality setups to provide an immersive retail experience. Retailers will have access to more data, which will enable them to better personalise the customer experience and make CX more innovative and profitable. When 5G, IoT, and AI are combined, the possibilities for CX are endless. Shorter wait times, real-time updates, automated checkouts, and robot assistance, among other things, improve online and in-store shopping experiences.

Develop a 5G cellular network strategy now

To prevent supply chain disruptions, organisations must act now to develop a strategy that will reduce risks and provide visibility into increased demand. A contingency plan must include how the supply or manufacturing enterprise will deploy 5G to capitalise on the value it adds to end-to-end processes and in gaining competitive advantages. If you're looking for long term operational efficiency and need a trusted 5G partner, choose Spintel - The only Independent Telco with 5G Home wireless.

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