Why Introducing 5G Technology in Supply Chain Management is Extremely Vital?
Assimilation of 5G technology in supply chain management is the need of the hour. The Covid-19 pandemic has underlined the importance of resilient global supply chains. Moreover, the digitalization drive undertaken by many industries to shift their businesses online has necessitated giving a second thought to how supply chain would work in the post-pandemic world. Another important question that has arisen is regarding the necessary integration of emergent technologies like Artificial Intelligence, robotics, etc. All these aspects can be addressed with the help of rolling out of 5G technology.
The 21st century has seen some path-breaking innovations like Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, 5G technology, blockchain technology, etc. All these innovations have, in some way or the other, changed the lifestyle of people across the world. Administrative, social, political, and economic impact of these technologies is hard to measure. Several businesses and industries have recalibrated their strategies and working methodologies in order to integrate these technologies in their operations. Take, for example, the integration process that is underway in many leading companies and government agencies to introduce 5G technology in their existing model of governance. The main reason behind this rush, especially by the big corporate houses, is because of the varied role 5G technology can play in improving the global supply chains.
Role of 5G Technology in Supply Chain Management
Market analysts predict that the global 5G technology market is poised to grow at a tremendous CAGR of 122.0% in the 2020-2027 timeframe. Thus, as per the market statistics, the next-age digital revolution is closer than we think. This digital revolution is bound to decide the future course of supply chain management as the world is interconnected today mainly on the account of robust and resilient supply chains. Given here are some ways in which 5G technology can influence the working of global supply chains:
- Streamlined Logistics through Seamless Connectivity
5G technology is thousand times faster than 4G technology and has the capability to handle traffic ten thousand times that of 4G. In today’s digitalization spree, wherein almost all businesses are looking to shift their services and operations online, the increased speed and capacity to handle more traffic become extremely essential. Thus, by introducing 5G technology in supply chain management, many companies and their operations can be connected simultaneously, thereby reducing the logistical hassle and delays.
- Detailed and Continuous Monitoring
One of the biggest problems faced by supply chains currently is the lack of efficient monitoring system which will prevent the damage of products while being transported. Introduction of 5G technology in supply chain management can tackle this problem easily with the help of hardware solutions like 5G tracking devices, which help in the 24X7 monitoring of the products in-transit.
- Increased Access to Resources
With the introduction of 5G technology, parts of the world which were not that easily connected to the rest have now been made accessible. Better connectivity has helped to gain an access to resources that were previously not easily available. This has helped in better supply chain management by easier distribution of workload.
- Easier Integration with Other Technologies
The advent of new technologies like robotics, Artificial Intelligence, blockchain etc., and their widespread adoption has made it evident that supply chain management sector too will adopt it sooner or later. In fact, in some cases, certain supply chains have kickstarted their integration processes already. 5G technology in supply chain management becomes a must for the smooth transition to adoption of these technologies. This is because the digital infrastructure needed for materializing this integration and for providing cost-efficient automatic data sharing systems will require high bandwidth and low latency features which only 5G services can provide.
- Better warehouse management
Apart from shabby management of in-transit goods and products, another problem that is plaguing supply chain industry is the storage of the goods, especially the perishables. Better management of the storage facilities and warehouses can easily be achieved with the inception of 5G technology in supply chain management. With hardware solutions like 5G sensors which regularly update and notify critical information like temperature, humidity, etc., it becomes easy to manage transport operations accordingly.
The Bottom Line
Apart from the direct benefits of introducing 5G technology in supply chain management mentioned above, there are some second-order and third-order benefits also. Internet of Things (IoT), which forms the backbone of the ‘Smart Cities’ project require disruption-free connectivity which 5G services offer. Hence, rolling out of 5G services will help in the realization of ‘Smart Cities’ project which can, in turn, help in upgrading and upliftment of the global supply chain automatically. Thus, all in all, integrating 5G technology in supply chain management is the need of the hour for advanced delivery of goods and services, which is a must if we want the world to usher Industrial Revolution 4.0.
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