Learn about B-I-R-D; the 4 technologies that have potential to transform supply chain

Article published by World Economics Forum explains the 4 technologies that have the biggest potential to transform the supply chain industry: “ For companies with goods to move, there are several technologies that bear watching and four that every party in the supply chain should be testing at some level. These four are the BIRD technologies – blockchain, the internet of things (IoT), robotic process automation (RPA) and data science.“
1) Blockchain
In ongoing pilots of this technology, shippers, freight forwarders, carriers, ports, insurance companies, banks, lawyers and others are sharing “milestone” information and data about their pieces of an individual shipping transaction. What’s missing today is agreement by all the relevant parties in the supply chain – including regulators – on a set of common industry standards that will govern the use of blockchain.
Absent a consensus on standardization, blockchain offers little. But with a common framework and set of rules, it could make shipping faster, cheaper and more efficient by increasing trust and reducing risk. It would shrink insurance premiums, financing costs and transit times, and eliminate supply chain intermediaries who add cost today but who would become surplus to requirements.
2) The internet of things
Data can be encrypted and shared through the blockchain so that customers and suppliers have a real-time record of the transaction. An IoT-enabled supply chain would be both leaner and less risky. It would allow for true just-in-time production by guaranteeing inventory accuracy and, in turn, reducing working capital requirements.
3) Robotic process automation
Of course, data is no good if it is inaccurate – and in the supply chain, the leading cause of inaccuracy is human error. 
Use of RPA can ensure accuracy in customs declarations, safety certificates, bills of lading and other paperwork. It can reduce reliance on the manually entered data, emails and digital forms that produce errors, create delays and add cost all along the supply chain. RPA frees up workers to be more productive by doing what humans do best: solve problems, react to the unexpected, think creatively and deal with customers.
4) Data science
Thanks to data science, we are in the midst of seismic change in the supply chain. We are getting more data from more sources; it is the right data; and it is accurate. Tools such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and cloud computing enable us to analyze and use that data in powerful new ways.
Written by Tarek Sultan Al Essa, Chief Executive Officer and Vice-Chairman of the Board, Agility- you can read the entire article here: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/01/4-digital-technologies-supply-chain/