Automate business processes securely and transparently - with the Smart Supply Chain
To survive in the today’s market, companies must work as efficiently as possible. Industrial work processes are already largely automated and are carried out independently by robots or modern machines. This results in cost savings in the processes and lower manufacturing costs over a longer period.
There are many interfaces in the supply chain from the raw material supplier to the end customer. There is a continuous flow of goods, money and information.
Contrary to the automated production processes of Industry 4.0, many cross-company business processes are still handled manually and on paper (with fax, telephone, email).
Manufacturing parts sourcing is a good example:
- Supplier selection (sourcing process)
- Inquiry to suppliers via email
- Offer to customers as a PDF via email
- Checking the offer and ordering via email
- Order confirmation as PDF via email
- Delivery papers as PDF via email
- Invoice as PDF via email or by post
The data is distributed across several systems with different data sovereignty:
- Inventory management systems (ERP)
- Production planning systems (PPS)
- Document Management Systems (DMS)
Uniform communication between internal and cross-company systems is difficult. However, the automation of such processes offers a great potential for savings.
Supply chain process
Security and transparency are also very important in business transactions. Mutual agreements must be fulfilled and adhered to.
Due to the need for a central intermediary, B2B platforms have never really caught on. Participating companies would have to disclose their needs and capacities to the intermediary, but do not always know exactly what the data is used for. Understandably, the necessary information is not readily shared as a result.
Networked systems and intelligent sensors (IOT) based on blockchain technology allow to run processes automatically and securely. Suitable suppliers can be found through automated inquiry and offer management with defined search criteria (field of activity, references, customer reviews, capacities, etc.). Inquiries and offers are placed digitally. With smart contracts (digital contracts), orders are automatically processed in a legally compliant and transparent manner along the entire value chain. Blockchain-based networks offer significant advantages in terms of data sovereignty and data protection. A central intermediary is no longer necessary and direct and efficient communication is possible. Information recorded in the blockchain can no longer be manipulated, is transparently accessible to all participants and can be automatically monitored by smart contracts. Resources that were previously required for processing manual information can be saved or used more effectively. So, there is enormous potential for cost savings in procurement.