Redefining Supply Chain Management

By Rajeev Ravindran, SVP & CIO, Ryder System

Rajeev Ravindran, SVP & CIO, Ryder System

How do you see the benefits of cloud computing for the Manufacturing and Supply Chain industry, and how have you embraced it?

Ryder has and continues to implement and evaluate the increased use of cloud computing, both Infrastructure as a Service and Platforms as a Service, to ensure we continue providing reliable, flexible, and scalable solutions for our customers. Balancing the benefits and risks (i.e. security, access, etc.) is important to ensure we maximize value. There is no doubt the manufacturing and supply chain technology industry are migrating rapidly, giving us many options to consider as we continue to evolve our technology portfolio. Additionally, it also has the following advantages:

Scalability and Elasticity: Leverage cloud to quickly scale and adjust to workloads.
Connectivity: Providing visibility in real-time, ability to touch and influence
• Intelligence: Connected devices combined with analytics, cognitive and smart apps on cloud providing our customers access to real-time information and decision making

Companies are moving fast towards cloud-based TMS. Please share how this is affecting end-to-end supply chain?

• The Transportation Management technology market is responding to the needs of the end-to-end supply chain. Cloud-based delivery platforms, IoT, digital business innovation, and data are proven value drivers to every supply chain. Specifically, cloud-based solutions are driving a lower cost of entry and wider adoption and return on investment.

• Cloud has become the dominant delivery mechanism for TMS solutions. Cloud is allowing the TMS vendors to invest in expanding their breadth and depth at a much more rapid pace—from strategic planning, strategic freight sourcing and procurement, through visibility and performance management, to freight payment and audit capabilities.

"Real-time visibility into status, locations, and activities of assets does and will improve the overall efficiency for end-to-end processing"

What does the IoT mean for Manufacturing or Supply Chain Industry?

• IoT will continue to evolve as a key enabler to the supply chain industry. Real-time visibility into status, locations, and activities of assets does and will improve the overall efficiency for end-to-end processing. IoT services will help us deliver comprehensive and real-time understanding of situations, richer user experiences, and new capabilities and products.

• It is important to note that with IoT there will be an exponential growth of data and therefore, the need for products and services that can effectively consume, secure, process, and deliver effective insights. It means:

• Identifying potential projects with a payback of less than one year
• Navigating the minefield of emerging technologies and vendors
• Addressing and mitigating security and interoperability concerns
• Identifying best practices in implementation and management of IoT projects–governance and skills
• Identifying ways to ensure IoT delivers real business value–areas that allow us more rapid introduction of a product into production

How can Technology be used to Mitigate rising Supply Chain costs?

Technology has to monitor, enable, and control the significant information flow that is inherent with end-to-end supply chains. Technology can mitigate rising supply chain costs in a variety of ways. You can:

• Utilize IoT, data and analytics, and digital business platforms to create a data-driven advantage.
• Drive customer and business self-service with enhanced insights.
• Implement automation to maximize efficiency of business processing.
• Focus on the customer experience with easy-to-use, self-service capabilities.
• Utilize built-in technology extensibility to allow for rapid deployment and process flexibility. Not all supply chains are created equally, and the technology has to be tailored to achieve maximum efficiency.

Most organizations have high hopes for using big data analytics in their supply chain but many have had challenges in deploying it. What are your thoughts on this?

• Data is one of the most important assets to any supply chain technology solution. With the continued emergence and evolving nature of IoT (sensors, devices, etc.) and other technologies, the amount of data and use-cases are expanding. Having a strategy in place to consume, secure, and process this data is a key tenant to our platform roadmaps. The problem statement is “big” and yes, there are challenges; however, Ryder believes these challenges can be overcome and the business benefits will continue to motivate progress.

• Big data-related analytics bring network and bandwidth challenges due to the massive volume of data that needs to be moved across networks. One of the ways it can be overcome is by leveraging edge computing—having the computing infrastructure close to the sources of data to ingest, store, filter, and send data only when needed to cloud systems.

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