As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to create significant challenges for the manufacturing and retail industry globally, the need for a resilient and agile supply chain network has never been greater. Vodacom Business has developed various digital solutions to help businesses achieve a true connected supply chain network to help improve efficiencies and withstand disruption and unpredicted hurdles in the future.
Today’s supply chain network is more complex than ever. It has become a digital ecosystem of suppliers, logistics companies, customers and other value chain partners that stretch across the globe. The supply chain network relies on the synchronised movement of thousands of interrelated parts to meet the ever growing customer demand for better, more innovative products and on-time, low cost delivery.
A connected supply chain network uses digital technologies to deliver end-to-end supply chain visibility and improved business operations.
According to the World Economic Forum, there are more than four trillion consumer products made, shipped and sold globally every year. Yet end-to-end traceability of each item through its lifecycle journey – from raw material to manufacturing to the consumer to recycling, resale or disposal – is still hugely challenging for the vast majority of goods.
At Vodacom Business, we have assets which leverage key technologies, like cloud, the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, B2B integration, mobile and data solutions, as well as software defined networks that enable our business clients to create an end to end connected supply chain network. This allows businesses to create a landscape where they are able to access information and engage with their partners and customers from anywhere in the world, at any time across the entire supply chain network.
“We understand the complexities and challenges many businesses are facing in an ever-changing market landscape. We believe a connected supply chain network allows for greater operational visibility, making it easier for businesses to promptly adapt to any changes in the market. It’s very important to note that having a connected supply chain network is about getting all the parts of this ecosystem to correlate and effectively share the necessary data and insights needed to benefit all the parties in the supply chain network. At Vodacom Trading Bridge, we enable our clients to create this connected network which allows them to increase resilience and minimise risk throughout their business operations,” says Pearl Masoga, Acting Managing Executive for Retail and FMCG at Vodacom Business.
Vodacom Trading Bridge, one of the key technologies that Vodacom Business will use to enable a connected supply chain network, is a platform enabling both large and small enterprises to digitise their supply chain network, enabling end to end transaction visibility. The platform is quite vast in its operations, switching in excess of 84 million transactions to the value of R200 billion per annum. By digitising their end-to-end supply chain system, businesses have visibility and control of operations in near real-time, as well as access to in-depth data insights to improve efficiencies and customer services.
With Vodacom Business, businesses that have a fully digital supply chain network also benefit from the Vodacom Business innovative financial services, such as automated invoicing, mobile payment transactions, and lending to both supplier and merchant, as well as scalability and reach into Africa with partnerships such as M-Pesa.
“The events of the past year have led to many organisations re-evaluating their strategies, providing an opportunity to adapt to a more connected approach in their business network systems. For the supply chain, a digitalised, integrated system offers multiple advantages in adjusting to uncertain future conditions while providing consistent and reliable customer service,” adds Masoga.