Supply chain technologies you need to know about in 2024

supply chain technologies in 2024

Supply chain technologies in 2024 will play a crucial role in optimising and managing the entire process of producing, distributing, and delivering goods and services to end consumers. As in past years, these technologies help organisations enhance efficiency, reduce costs, improve visibility, and respond more effectively to changes in the market.

Supply chains are becoming a global phenomenon even faster than it was expected. In this constant growth, there are these various aspects that go along this process. These aspects create new challenges for supply chain and only underline their complexity. The risks in managing the supply chains are becoming much bigger and all of these obstacles need to be overcome in order to secure a stable and resilient supply chain.

Therefore, in order to make the supply chain processes much more efficient companies need to resort to new technologies that are being developed.

In this article we will cover some of these technologies in 2024 and explain how they can help the entire supply chain.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems

ERP systems integrate various business processes, including finance, manufacturing, inventory, and order processing. They provide a centralised platform for managing and tracking data across the entire supply chain. Although this technology is an old one, it is still one of the most important ones when it comes to supply chain management.

These systems facilitate the flow of information and help in the efficient management of resources, leading to improved decision-making, collaboration, and overall organisational performance. In the context of the supply chain, ERP systems play a vital role in bringing together various functions and activities.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

RFID technology uses wireless communication to identify and track objects with RFID tags. It enables real-time visibility into the movement of products, helping to improve inventory accuracy, reduce theft, and enhance overall supply chain efficiency.

RFID tags contain electronically stored information, and this information can be read or captured by RFID readers without the need for direct line-of-sight contact.

Real-time visibility

RFID technology enables instant tracking of products, providing real-time visibility into their movement throughout the supply chain.

Inventory accuracy and efficiency

Automated data capture with RFID improves inventory accuracy, reduces theft, and streamlines supply chain operations, enhancing overall efficiency.

Enhanced customer service

RFID facilitates quicker response to customer inquiries, contributing to improved order fulfillment and heightened customer satisfaction.

Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT involves connecting physical devices and sensors to the internet to collect and share data. In the supply chain, IoT can be used to monitor and manage inventory, track shipments, and ensure the quality of goods during transportation.

IoT enables real-time inventory monitoring in warehouses, ensuring accurate stock levels and timely replenishment. This smart inventory management minimises errors and optimises overall inventory control.

IoT also revolutionises shipment tracking by providing real-time location data through devices like GPS trackers. This increased visibility enables organisations to track shipments, estimate delivery times, and proactively address potential delays. Moreover, IoT sensors play a crucial role in maintaining product quality during transportation. By monitoring environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity, organisations can intervene promptly to prevent damage and uphold the integrity of sensitive goods.

Additionally, IoT contributes to predictive maintenance by monitoring the health of machinery and equipment in the supply chain. This proactive approach minimises downtime, reduces the risk of breakdowns, and extends the lifespan of critical assets. Overall, IoT applications in the supply chain streamline operations, improve communication, and provide actionable insights, ultimately making the supply chain more agile and responsive to dynamic market conditions.


Blockchain technology provides a secure and transparent way to record and verify transactions. In the supply chain, it can be used to create a tamper-proof and traceable record of the movement of goods, helping to prevent fraud and improve transparency.

Blockchain technology offers a secure and transparent mechanism for recording and verifying transactions. In the supply chain, its application goes beyond traditional record-keeping methods by creating a tamper-proof and traceable ledger of the movement of goods. The decentralised nature of blockchain ensures that once a transaction is recorded, it cannot be altered or tampered with, establishing a high level of trust and reliability in the supply chain data.

By utilising blockchain, the supply chain can address issues related to fraud and enhance transparency. Each transaction, from the origin of raw materials to the final destination of the product, is cryptographically linked and time-stamped on the blockchain. This creates an immutable and auditable trail, making it significantly challenging for malicious actors to manipulate information or engage in fraudulent activities. The transparency provided by blockchain also allows stakeholders at various points in the supply chain to access real-time and accurate information, fostering collaboration and trust among participants.

In addition to preventing fraud, blockchain technology simplifies traceability in the supply chain. In the event of a product recall or the need to trace the origin of a particular item, blockchain ensures that this process is efficient and precise. With all relevant information securely stored and easily accessible on the blockchain, organisations can swiftly identify the source of issues, implement targeted recalls, and maintain the integrity of their supply chain operations. Overall, blockchain serves as a transformative tool in supply chain management, promoting security, transparency, and traceability throughout the entire lifecycle of goods.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)

AI and ML technologies analyse large sets of data to identify patterns, predict demand, and optimise supply chain processes. These technologies can be used for demand forecasting, route optimisation, and predictive maintenance of equipment.

Demand forecasting

AI and ML can improve the accuracy and reliability of demand forecasts by analysing historical data, market trends, consumer behavior, and external factors. This can help reduce inventory costs, improve customer satisfaction, and increase sales.

Route optimisation

With the help of AI, we can optimise the transportation routes and schedules of goods by considering factors such as traffic, weather, fuel consumption, and delivery deadlines. This can help reduce transportation costs, improve delivery efficiency, and reduce carbon emissions.

Predictive maintenance

AI and ML can also help monitor the condition and performance of equipment and machinery by using sensors, IoT devices, and data analytics. This can help detect and prevent potential failures, reduce downtime, and extend the lifespan of assets.

These are just some of the use cases of AI and ML in the supply chain. There are many more applications that can help improve supply chain management, such as product development, manufacturing, procurement, warehousing, logistics, and customer service.

Both technologies can help transform the traditional linear supply chain into a connected, intelligent, scalable, and customisable digital supply network.

Warehouse Management Systems (WMS)

Warehouse Management Systems play a crucial role in streamlining and optimising warehouse operations, offering a comprehensive solution for an efficient inventory management. WMS is designed to enhance accuracy and efficiency across various aspects of warehouse activities. One key feature is inventory tracking, where the system provides real-time visibility into the location and status of each item within the warehouse. This capability reduces errors, decreases the risk of stockouts or overstock situations, and ensures that products are readily available for order fulfillment.

Order picking is another core function of WMS, significantly impacting the efficiency of warehouse operations. The system employs algorithms to optimise the picking process, determining the most efficient routes for warehouse staff to gather items for customer orders. This not only accelerates the order fulfillment process but also minimises labor costs by improving the productivity of warehouse personnel.

Additionally, WMS facilitates accurate and streamlined shipping processes. It automates the creation of shipping labels, packing slips, and other necessary documentation, reducing the likelihood of errors associated with manual data entry. By integrating with transportation management systems, WMS ensures a smooth transition from warehouse to transportation, contributing to timely and accurate deliveries.

Supplier Relationship Management (SRM)

Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) systems are instrumental in fostering effective collaboration and communication between companies and their suppliers. These systems serve as a centralised platform for managing supplier relationships, providing a comprehensive view of interactions, transactions, and performance metrics. By facilitating transparent and streamlined communication, SRM systems enable organisations to build strong and reliable partnerships with their suppliers.

The core functionality of SRM involves collaboration and engagement throughout the entire supply chain. These systems support joint planning, forecasting, and inventory management, ensuring that both parties are aligned with demand and supply expectations. Additionally, SRM systems often include tools for monitoring supplier performance, evaluating key performance indicators (KPIs), and assessing overall adherence to contractual agreements. This performance monitoring capability helps organisations identify areas for improvement, recognise top-performing suppliers, and make data-driven decisions to optimise the efficiency of the supply chain.

Predictive analytics

Predictive analytics in the supply chain harnesses historical data and statistical algorithms to anticipate future trends, enabling organisations to make informed decisions and enhance overall efficiency. By analysing past data, predictive analytics can forecast demand patterns, helping organisations proactively adjust their production and distribution strategies. This anticipatory approach aids in preventing stockouts or excess inventory, ultimately optimising inventory levels and improving overall supply chain performance.

One of the key applications of predictive analytics is in demand forecasting. By understanding past consumption patterns, market trends, and external factors, companies can use predictive analytics to project future demand accurately. This insight allows for better planning of production schedules, procurement strategies, and inventory management, aligning the supply chain with anticipated customer needs.

Predictive analytics also plays a crucial role in identifying potential disruptions in the supply chain. By analysing historical data on factors such as weather patterns, geopolitical events, or supplier performance, organisations can develop models that predict and mitigate risks. This proactive risk management approach enables timely responses to potential disruptions, ensuring continuity in the supply chain and minimising the impact of unforeseen events on operations. In essence, predictive analytics empowers organisations to be more adaptive and responsive in the dynamic landscape of supply chain management.Top of Form

Cloud computing

Cloud computing has revolutionised supply chain management by offering scalable and flexible solutions for handling data and applications. This technology eliminates the need for substantial on-premise hardware, providing a virtualised infrastructure accessible through the internet. With cloud-based solutions, organisations can scale their computing resources up or down based on demand, allowing for cost-efficient and adaptive operations within the supply chain.

One of the key advantages of cloud computing in the supply chain is real-time collaboration. Teams located across different geographical locations can access and share data seamlessly through the cloud, fostering efficient communication and collaboration. This level of connectivity is particularly valuable in a supply chain where multiple stakeholders, including suppliers, manufacturers, and distributors, need to coordinate and exchange information in real-time.

Furthermore, cloud computing enhances data accessibility and storage. By storing data in the cloud, organisations ensure that critical information is readily available to authorised users from any location with an internet connection. This accessibility contributes to improved decision-making, as stakeholders can access up-to-date information, analytics, and insights, ultimately promoting agility and responsiveness within the supply chain. In essence, cloud computing transforms the traditional supply chain infrastructure, making it more adaptable, collaborative, and data-driven.