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HUB-Supply Chain Supply Chain Industry Updates

Why Others ‘Could Learn a Lot’ from E-Commerce


The pandemic’s disruption of supply chains highlights the need for seamless integration between industrial internet of things (IIoT) and e-commerce platforms, according to a panel of experts addressing the digital Global Manufacturing and Industrialization Summit today.

“By integrating the two, you will bring end-to-end visibility in the supply chain and enable smoother transactions almost in real time,” said Helena Lisachuk, Deloitte global IoT leader. “The value, as a big enterprise, is that you can look after smaller suppliers to make sure they survive through a difficult time and can plan for the future. But you also have a direct relationship with your end-customer.” 

Connecting the dots between IIoT and e-commerce could also help manufacturers meet growing demand for product customization. “You personalize your experience as much as possible on e-commerce platforms that target B2C,” Lisachuk explained. “Bringing that experience towards the industrial space, you could learn a lot from e-commerce models in terms of personalization, customization and distribution.” 

Of course, these “connected ecosystems,” whether they include large organizations or small or medium-sized enterprises, will require sometimes-reluctant stakeholders to share data.

“Manufacturers should work together with suppliers towards a common goal, to figure out the best way to share data so they can see better outcomes across all operations,” said Sunggy Koo, former corporate vice president of Samsung Electronics and managing director at TMC LLC. “This is the challenge that we’re seeing more and more, but I think there are always solutions when you have a trusting relationship with your suppliers.”

Joining the panel was Dr. Eric Maiser, head of Competence Center Future Business at VDMA, Germany’s mechanical engineering industry association. “When sharing data, you don’t have to be naive, but if you want to use artificial intelligence you need a lot of data, and you have to share that data,” he said. “So, if you want to tap into that you have to avoid data protectionism.”