Recently, we discussed the downsides to 5G in supply chains, but let’s now explore its potential positive impacts.
Supply chains are experiencing a lot of technology-based changes over the past few years and the roll-out of 5G promises to deliver multiple benefits to an industry in waiting. Expectations are that robotics, drones and IoT usage will soar and new applications will follow suit rapidly—especially in the support area.
Accelerated data speeds 100x faster, lower mobile-network latency and a greater number of devices supported join higher quality than 4G networks have enabled. Improved data access, analytics, identity capabilities and more will provide an important foundation for faster and improved decision making throughout the supply chain, especially involving optimization, logistics and innovation.
5G and supply chains
So why is the 5G/Supply Chain connection important? It’s all in supply chain management. For example:
- Logistics: inventory is labeled, tracked, automatically recorded and monitored along the chain.
- Data Sharing: Data is available automatically between all parties involved.
- Reduced Latency: Eliminates lag time for real-time benefits.
- Network slicing: dividing bandwidth among large and small devices.
- Monitoring: Enables product monitoring at the SKU level.
- Environment: Blends indoor and outdoor operations, bridging mobile communications in each.
- Blockchain: Supports Blockchain capabilities for logistics and payment.
In manufacturing, 5G will ensure improved flexibility and safety while it delivers greater efficiency. Increasingly, artificial intelligence and augmented reality is employed in manufacturing. With 5G, the network will be used for greater control, monitoring and remote configuration. The speed of 5G will go especially far here to reduce production downtime and enable repair—major manufacturing challenges.
Will supply chains change dramatically? No and yes. They will become incredibly operationally efficient so that the promise of the IoT can be experienced. In the meantime, rapid response, improved collaboration and data analysis benefits are immediate. 5G will be more reliable than existing wireless so that networks can be managed more effectively. There are, even in the interim, substantial benefits for those that implement 5G as soon as it is available.