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The impact of smart manufacturing on the supply chain

The impact of smart manufacturing on the supply chain

The supply chain is the core key of an enterprise. As early as 2016, the People’s Daily wrote an article that “to revitalize the real economy, to make the industry have a future and make money, it requires both intelligent manufacturing and high-quality products and services that are down-to-earth.” . Under the promotion of “Made in China 2025” and the concept of Industry 4.0, my country’s supply chain industry is not too motivated to transform and upgrade to intelligent, green and efficient. However, the current transformation of the supply chain industry is mostly “self-government” However, in order to realize the in-depth reform of the supply chain industry, it is necessary for the supply chain personnel to cooperate with each other and make great efforts to reform from the perspective of the supply chain.

Today, supply chain is no longer a new topic, and enterprises have a certain understanding of the analysis of supply chain concepts and the interpretation of supply chain competition. Many industry insiders pointed out thatmy country’s manufacturing industry should pay special attention to “supply chain integration” and “supply chain collaboration”.

The so-called supply chain integration is to extend the traditional functional management for a single enterprise to each enterprise in the entire supply chain, and carry out systematic and strategic integration to improve the efficiency of the entire supply chain and all companies. With the rapid development of technologies such as informatization and the internet, it has brought powerful technical support to the efficient integration and collaboration of the supply chain, making manufacturers suddenly discover that there are many possibilities and huge space to improve efficiency at the supply chain level, while supply chain The intelligentization of the chain system is one of the necessary conditions for the efficient integration of the supply chain. What kind of supply chain system counts as a smart supply chain? When the supply chain hits the hot concepts of “smart manufacturing” and “Internet +”, what will happen to the supply chain system of the manufacturing industry? We may be able to spy a thing or two from the changes in the industry.

Smart manufacturing and supply chain, gradually clear concept

When it comes to the word “intelligence”, people’s understanding of intelligence is a gradual deepening process. In the early days, automation was considered to be equated with intelligence. Then with the development of science and technology and the generation of computer microchips, some new smart products appeared, such as point-and-shoot cameras, smart washing machines, etc., which can obtain information from the scene and replace people to make judgments and choices, not only processes Automation, such products are considered “smart”. And now “intelligence” has evolved to generally refer to a comprehensive system that integrates automation, electronics, and networking, which is simply “automation + informatization”.

At present, many advanced modern supply chain systems already have advanced technical features such as informatization, digitization, networking, integration, intelligence, flexibility, agility, visualization, and automation. Many supply chain systems and networks also use the latest infrared, laser, wireless, coding, address recognition, automatic identification, positioning, contactless power supply, optical fiber, big data, sensors, RFID, wireless sensor networks, satellite positioning and other high-tech technologies. , the integrated application of this new technology integrating optical, mechanical, electrical, information and other technologies in the supply chain system is the concrete manifestation of the application of intelligent technology in the supply chain industry.

The intelligence of modern supply chain has become an important direction of supply chain development. Adopting the intelligent decision-making method, improving the intelligence and automation of the modern supply chain system, and finally realizing the high-quality service of rapid response and punctual distribution, and driving the improvement of the economic benefits of the modern supply chain distribution industry are the tenet of the development of the modern supply chain industry. Intelligence is a high-level application of supply chain automation and informatization. It emphasizes the use of artificial intelligence-related technologies in supply chain operations to solve a large number of operational research and decision-making needs.

Although the purpose of intelligent supply chain and traditional supply chain operations is to complete the handling of materials, the characteristics of the operation have produced obvious differences:

(1) The traditional supply chain only provides simple displacement, while the intelligent supply chain can provide more value-added services;

(2) The traditional supply chain is a passive service, and the intelligent supply chain is an active service;

(3) The traditional supply chain implements manual control, and the intelligent supply chain implements information management;

(4) The traditional supply chain is a single link management, and the intelligent supply chain is the overall system optimization.

Build an intelligent supply chain, and cultivate both inside and outside the manufacturing enterprise

In the manufacturing industry, the hottest concept now is Industry 4.0 and intelligent manufacturing. So what is the manufacturing industry like in the era of Industry 4.0? What is the relationship between smart manufacturing and supply chain?

The concept of Industry 4.0 originated in Germany. Dr. Fang Dianjun, the chief scientist of the German Supply Chain Research Institute in China, once briefly explained the relevant concepts. He believes that “Industry 4.0” is driven by a new generation of information technologies such as mobile Internet, Internet of Things and big data. , based on the virtual reality integration system (CPS), through the deep integration of machine, electricity, automation, information and communication technology and enterprise management processes, to achieve the evolution to intelligent manufacturing. Compared with “Industry 3.0”, “Industry 4.0” is more automated and intelligent, and achieves personalized mass customization with low consumption, low energy consumption and low cost while greatly improving production efficiency and quality.

Industry 4.0 consists of three major themes:

The first is “smart factory”, which focuses on the study of intelligent production systems and processes, as well as the realization of networked distributed production facilities;

The second is “intelligent production”, which mainly studies the production supply chain management of the entire enterprise, human-computer interaction and the application of 3D technology in the Industrial production process;

The third is “smart logistics”, which mainly integrates supply chain resources through traditional Internet, Internet of Things and service networking, and gives full play to the efficiency of existing logistics resources, while the demand side can quickly obtain service matching and receive intelligent supply chain support. It can be seen that intelligent logistics is an indispensable and important part of intelligent manufacturing.

For manufacturing enterprises, the construction of the supply chain system can be roughly divided into two parts: internal and external: the internal supply chain is related to the production process and process, which is called the production supply chain; the external supply chain is related to the entire industrial chain ( supply chain) operations, such as the procurement of raw materials and components for upstream companies, and the delivery of products for downstream customers.

The production process of a manufacturing enterprise requires not only production equipment, production technology, but also the organization of the production supply chain. The production supply chain has become an important activity in the manufacturing process. The production supply chain includes supply chains of various material forms, such as the supply chain of raw materials, the supply chain of parts, and the supply chain operation of semi-finished products during production. In addition, the production supply chain also includes the flow of containers, packaging, tools, etc. In short, the production supply chain is a relatively tight and complex process.

Manufacturing is divided into continuous manufacturing and discrete manufacturing. Continuous manufacturing is a process in which formula raw materials are continuously added, and through continuous chemical reactions and supply chain processes, the final product is output and the finished product is subpackaged and packaged. The supply chain process of continuous manufacturing needs to collect data from various detection instruments on the production line to judge the changes in the shape of the supply chain (object).

Discrete manufacturing involves the assembly of various components, and the supply chain process may be more complicated than continuous manufacturing. In discrete manufacturing, if a certain part is not available, the production process will be interrupted; if there is a problem with a certain part, the assembled product is a defective product. Whether it is continuous manufacturing or discrete manufacturing, to better organize production, it is necessary to precisely control the production supply chain, which requires precise production supply chain organization to support the smooth completion of the production process.

For the external supply chain of manufacturing enterprises, a lean supply chain distribution organization of upstream raw materials and components is an important prerequisite for building a lean supply chain and completing lean production. Due to the continuous refinement of the division of labor in the manufacturing industry, more and more industrial products must be jointly produced by many enterprises, and even a production system with global division of labor and cooperation is formed to produce products that are essentially “global manufacturing”. Therefore, it can be said that many product producers are no longer a single enterprise but a “supply chain system” composed of many enterprises. This requires the “chain master” enterprise in the supply chain to control the operation of the supply chain in the entire chain.

Supply chain collaboration requires all members of the supply chain to achieve collaborative management in procurement, production, sales, supply chain, R&D, and finance for a common goal. Due to the uncertainty of customer demand and market fluctuations, members of each link of the supply chain need to forecast demand before making purchasing and production decisions. Inaccurate forecasts will lead to increased inventory, serious shortages and decreased customer satisfaction. Therefore, core enterprises generally share information including forecasts, orders, and inventory with upstream and downstream enterprises to improve the accuracy of forecasts, and at the same time coordinate planning and replenishment with upstream and downstream enterprises.

The external supply chain of the manufacturing enterprise also includes the finished product supply chain, that is, the supply chain service of the finished product delivery link. And the ability to deliver finished products is the concentrated expression of the core competitiveness of manufacturing enterprises. The delivery capacity of finished products is not only affected by factors such as product design, manufacturing process, and production process, but also by the supply chain. The finished product delivery process refers to starting from the outgoing link at the place of origin, going through the intermediate supply chain process, directly delivering the product to the customer and asking the customer to sign for receipt. Today, this link has been paid more and more attention, because only this link of the supply chain is the link that contacts end customers (including dealers or consumers), the operational efficiency of this link and the quality of service levels directly affect customer satisfaction. In short, excellent finished product supply chain operation is of great help to improve the customer stickiness of manufacturing enterprises and improve the competitiveness of enterprises.

Manufacturing demand, stimulating supply chain technology update

With the upgrading and development of the manufacturing industry to intelligent manufacturing, the requirements of manufacturing enterprises on the supply chain system are getting higher and higher, which is mainly reflected in: on the one hand, it is necessary to more accurately control the information of supply chain operation, which professionals call “transparency” demand; On the other hand, supply chain services are required to reduce costs and facilitate management, which inevitably requires higher-quality supply chain outsourcing services.

To meet such supply chain demands, manufacturing companies cannot do without the services and technical support of related companies. The companies involved here can be roughly divided into two categories: companies that help build supply chain systems and companies that implement supply chain operation services. Companies that help build supply chain systems include supply chain system integrators, supply chain software providers, and supply chain equipment manufacturers. The service companies that implement supply chain operations include third-party supply chain companies and fourth-party supply chain platforms.

From the perspective of the entire supply chain, improving the informatization level of the supply chain is a necessary condition for promoting supply chain management, and it is also the technical basis for manufacturing enterprises to control the supply chain system more accurately. With years of market cultivation, ERP has become the standard configuration of many enterprises and an important system for enterprises to support supply chain management. However, the traditional ERP system generally mainly supports procurement, production, sales, warehousing and other links, and the support for the transportation management module system is relatively weak, and most enterprises cannot see the information of goods in transit in the system.Due to the complexity of the supply chain, supply chain visualization technology can analyze the data generated by products in the supply chain circulation.

Data is collected, processed and transmitted, which can effectively help manufacturing companies make quick responses and decisions. Therefore, improving the supply chain visualization technology and combining it with the TMS system is increasingly valued by manufacturing companies.

In order to cope with the rising costs (especially labor costs), manufacturing enterprises have a huge demand for intelligent supply chain equipment, which promotes supply chain equipment enterprises to introduce and develop products with more advanced technologies. From the supply chain equipment exhibition in the past two years, we found that more and more supply chain equipment companies have begun to launch various types of automation and intelligent equipment, including automated three-dimensional warehouses, automated sorting systems, and intelligent supply chain Robots.

In order to improve efficiency and reduce operating costs for manufacturing enterprises, supply chain outsourcing is inevitable. Supply chain outsourcing generally involves the management of supply chain operation service providers. For supply chain operation service providers, informatization has become a basic requirement for manufacturing enterprise customers. Whether the service of supply chain suppliers is good or not, there are not many cases of wrangling and disputes between them, and whether the response and execution of each supply chain task are timely, the manufacturing enterprises as customers no longer rely on subjective and empirical judgments, but more. Mostly rely on the big data generated in the system for objective analysis. With the big data of the execution performance of supply chain operation service providers, it is possible to analyze which execution links are prone to problems and need to strengthen management; it is possible to know which supplier has better or worse services, so as to formulate more targeted suppliers Management policy; can know how to guide suppliers to improve business execution efficiency and supply chain service level.

From the perspective of the fourth-party supply chain, there are two clear trends:

First, more and more enterprises are beginning to provide SaaS information platform service products. These enterprises advocate the seamless interconnection of cargo owners, third-party supply chain companies, transportation companies, drivers and consignees through the community-based “SaaS platform + mobile APP” model to form a modern transportation business based on core processes, balance and win-win. network to create value for customers.

Second, more and more platforms involve supply chain financial services, which can also reduce the supply chain operation cost of client companies to a certain extent.

Either way, a whole new era of manufacturing has dawned. It is mentioned in Industry 4.0 and “Made in China 2025” that to build digital factories and smart factories, only when the supply chain system is informatized, digitized and intelligent can it be called a digital factory and a smart factory. Therefore, building a highly information-based, data-based and intelligent supply chain system has become an inevitable choice for manufacturing enterprises to upgrade and develop.

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