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Supply Chain | Digital Threads

Will your supply chain ills be cured by digital threads?

Words by Alex Matheson
Will your supply chain ills be cured by digital threads?
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The last two years have forced rapid and reactive change in every industry, across the board. Combine this with the incredible and diverse advances that Industry 4.0 has ushered in and it’s easy to see that we’ve all got a lot to learn.

One thing that may previously have been seen as a pipedream, but which now is fast becoming a reality, is digital threads. It’s a concept that speaks directly to the power of Industry 4.0 and one that we can all get excited by. It’s time to blur the lines between the physical and digital world.

What is a digital thread?

A digital thread is a closed loop that ties together both the physical and digital world. Each conceivable digital thread can run from the design of a product, through its creation, into the supply chain associated with it, and on to service histories and customer events.

Digital threads are becoming realised due to leaps forward in technologies such as 5G networking, cloud data storage, the internet of things, and more. Without the full array of technological leaps forward available to industries worldwide, a digital thread would remain a utopian dream. But that’s not the case. They’re here and we can all capitalise on them.

What do digital threads have to do with your supply chain?

Melding the physical and digital worlds means you can start automating and organising at scale. Being able to visualise and manage a physical landscape that reaches to and beyond the horizon, all in the digital realm, brings even multinational ventures into a centralised, easily manageable space.

Trying to design a supply chain strategy that not only meets the needs of a rapidly changing world, but also maximises the potential of Industry 4.0 is a mammoth task for any single organisation. That’s why we all need a little help.

We’ll be speaking at the European Supply Chain Management Strategies Summit and offering our insight on the issues you face and opportunities you can take hold of. Our own Martin Kelman will be presenting his talk on digital threads and we will be available throughout the conference to meet with you personally to discuss your needs.

We’ll also be releasing a series of articles that supports some of what we’re talking about at the conference, as well as expanding on some ideas that we think are very exciting. Keep a keen eye out as we’ll be dropping our article on scalability in the supply chain very soon.

For now, be sure to book your digital seat to see Martin Kelman speak on November 8th!