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Supply chains cover nearly every industry from life sciences through to automotive to energy and utilities. As we seek to move forwards to the fourth industrial revolution our supply chains and the digitisation of these becomes ever more critical.

Although a critical part of industrial businesses, these supply chains are under immense pressure, in addition they account for:

  • 50-70% of a manufacturing businesses costs
  • Over 80% of and industrial companies CO2 emissions are created through the supply chain
  • 5 to 1 ratio of employment

Below are just some of the known issues faced

  • Supply chain risk and resilience - including a lack of visibility and risk of cyber threats
  • Supply and demand imbalances - from demand uncertainty and supply shortages to a lack of supplier visibility and collaboration
  • Sustainability and the need to move to industrial net zero - how do we measure Co2 and package waste
  • Circular economy, return and re-make of supply chains - the product end life cycle and opportunities for servitization
  • Last mile logistics - that last mile congestion and duplication of transport
  • Supply chain finance working capital inventory - from payment terms to the impact on SMEs

Made Smarter Digital Supply Chain Innovation Hub sets to create a virtual hub, data observatory and network of industrial living labs. Designed to optimise the physical, informational and financial flows across all tiers of manufacturing supply chains.

It will develop a globally competitive, digitally enabled, diverse innovation ecosystem addressing today’s supply chains challenges, making them more sustainable, resilient and efficient.

How digitising supply chains can change manufacturing
  • Opportunities that arise from a digitise supply chain

    The impact and adoption of advanced digital technologies holds great potential to ease these pressure and impact on the supply chain, across all these challenges, to name a few use cases:

    • The use of artificial intelligence to map our supply chains and assess the risks to enable better and more efficient decision making
    • The creation of digital twins and cognitive automation to build an intelligent self learning supply chain
    • Measuring, monitoring and modelling our supply chain emissions through data analytics and traceability
    • Creating collaborative business models alongside robotics and automation of processes
    • Establishing a circular economy in key sectors, for example batteries and packaging
  • More about the Digital Supply Chain Innovation Hub

    The Made Smarter Digital Supply Chain Innovation Hub is led by Digital Catapult, the UK authority on advanced digital technology, funded by UKRI through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, as part of the national Made Smarter innovation activities. It is delivered in collaboration with the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult, National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and TWI Ltd.

    Created to tackle challenges faced by the UK’s manufacturing supply chains, the Made Smarter Digital Supply Chain Innovation Hub sets out to accelerate commercial integration of advanced and emerging digital technologies across manufacturing supply chains.

    To register your interest and get involved in the programme find out more here.

  • 2021 research and input

    Digital Catapult is embarking on a short programme of research to understand what role an online platform might have in opening up new opportunities and innovations in digitisation of the UK’s supply chain.

    We have compiled a series of questions to inform the development of an online platform which aims to identify what support startups, technology providers and supply chain companies  need to exploit new business opportunities in digital supply chains.

    Benefits of taking part

    • Opportunities through being part of the community and the research
    • Help shape and inform how the platform functions and steer how you may directly benefit from it
    • Drive change within your sector/business by being at the forefront of this support function and informing its purpose
    • Connect with the key stakeholders and governance team responsible for onward funding and development of this platform
    • Raise your own profile and visibility amongst key stakeholders,
    • Access new partnership and funding opportunities through early adoption in wider innovation hub programme
    • This research will inform the design of the platform and ensure it is developed in response to genuine user needs

    The survey is currently open for both technology startups and active supply chains companies to input and take part.

Interested in being part of the Made Smarter Innovation Network and finding out how we can help you on your journey into digital innovation? sign up here.

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