Technology Driving Inventory Management to Next Level


Krohn is Market Development Manager, Ecosystems Healthcare for Avery Dennison, a multinational manufacturer and distributor of labels, tags, RFID tech, and specialty medical products. 

Speaking about the role of RFID in pharma supply chains, Krohn says: “RFID is the most cost-effective technology capable of broadening the scope of IoT. It is an easy and secure way for patients and caregivers to engage with medicines and diagnostic devices.

She continues: “Digital twins create a unique digital identifier for every single item in the supply chain and offer end-to-end visibility, reduce supply chain disruptions and help manage inventory.”

In hospitals  and pharmacies, she points out, the technology facilitates automated medication and inventory management and reduces the risk of medication errors.

Someone who expects to see even more widespread adoption of technology for the management of inventory is Don Hnatyshin, who is Chief Supply Chain Officer at Molex, a US-based manufacturer of electronic, electrical, and fibre optic connectivity systems. 

The company offers an estimated 100,000 products across a variety of industries, including data communications, medical, industrial, automotive and consumer electronics. 

Hnatyshin predicts that 2024 will see digital tools and AI “accelerate the delivery of data-driven intelligence to better manage global supply chains and increase on-time customer deliveries”.

“These advanced data-driven tools will deliver real-time visibility and actionable business insights to help companies respond with greater speed in bolstering supply chain resiliency,” Hnatyshin says. 

He adds that tech-driven improvements to the supply chain will help businesses navigate “continued fluctuations in market demand, which will be an overarching issue in 2024”.

And he feels that trade and tariff issues will be “a constant concern for global supply chains”, and says that issues such as this make it increasingly important that organisations select the right suppliers in the most favourable regions closest to end customers.

He says: “As global markets rebalance inventory levels, optionality will become a core strategy to mitigate issues such as foreign currency exchange rates and geopolitical volatility. 

“This will be particularly important in the electronics industry in 2024, with an even stronger bias in Mexico and Southeast Asia.”

Hnatyshin observes that, while high pandemic-driven demand caused an ‘inventory hangover’ in 2023, this “should dissipate by the second half of 2024, as inventory levels continue to rebalance”. He predicts this will occur “first at the component level, then work through raw materials”.

Hnatyshin sees tech making a positive impact on inventory management.

“In 2024 ongoing investments in enriching data ecosystems will elevate overall demand and supply planning initiatives,” he says. “Excess inventory is a great example, as AI and ML can optimise inventory health and velocity, while generating a much clearer picture of potential outcomes to improve decision making.”


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