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There is a great deal of hype around the 5G technology and this hype should be taken seriously because 5G is widely believed to be smarter, faster, and more efficient than 4G. Although this much-talked-about technology is a long way away from being widely deployed, it is seen as a potential game-changer across the global marketplace.
5G brings to the table several key differentiators such as ultra-low latency, exponentially faster data speeds, more reliability, massive network capacity, increased availability, more uniform user experience among others. It has the potential to offer speeds up to 100 gigabits per second and is set to be as much as 100 times faster than 4G. No wonder, the technology has generated a lot of excitement among businesses and technology influencers.
5G for Supply Chains
The fifth-generation technology has so much to offer to the supply chain space – its sheer speed and its ability to handle volumes of data will have a profound effect on supply chain management. According to a recent survey conducted by Ericsson, 5G subscriptions are expected to touch 190 million by 2020-end and are predicted to reach 2.8 billion by 2025.
The technology promises to take supply chain innovation to the next level by leveraging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, and drones across the supply chain. IoT technologies can help accelerate supply chain management by identifying chips, sensors, communication devices, cloud computing networks, and data analytics engines all working together to drive better decision-making.
5G will help businesses drive better visibility across their supply chains. It will also drive real-time data-sharing among all supply chain parties as well as enable organizations to streamline operations and accelerate production. Further, 5G technology is set to drive substantial cost-savings and ensure peace of mind for various supply chain stakeholders. Logistics companies can richly benefit from the 5G technology as they can leverage this technology to label, track, and record all shipments automatically and effectively address issues such as lost cargo, misplaced items, etc.
The much-hyped technology can also help optimize inventory and warehouse management, wherein its high-speed network ensures a more transparent and efficient process of collection, delivery, and archiving of goods and products. It can also optimize critical processes as well as pave the way for remote maintenance and control.
5G can be also handy in ensuring seamless fleet management operations. This technology owing to reduced latency enables real-time vehicle status updates, collision avoidance, leveraging emergency services in the event of an emergency, etc.
One can understand the keenness of organizations to hop on the 5G bandwagon but they cannot overlook the strong need to reinvent some of their existing data infrastructure and embrace analytics solutions suited to the task ahead. This will ensure that their supply chains are well placed to make the most of the new opportunities.
The power of 5G can transform all facets of supply chain operations. It is critical for businesses to understand the digital technology landscape and its benefits – often considered a key barrier to modernizing the supply chain. Only digital technology-savvy businesses can expect to reap the maximum benefits out of 5G technology.
Given the constantly-evolving market environment, the need of the hour for businesses is to work with all their partners as one virtual organization with shared information, shared processes, and shared decision support. Businesses that adopt such a collaborative approach will emerge as winners over the long-term.