The center focuses on research of the application of knowledge portal, business intelligence tools, agent technologies, the “internet of things” and geographical information systems to re-engineer supply chain processes for improving the business operations efficiency and effectiveness. Supply chain management strategies, optimization models and forecasting models are researched for inventory management, warehouse planning and resources allocation. New methods like big data analytics, industrial 4.0 and 5.0 technologies are investigated for helping companies to connect humans and machines for development of intelligent supply chain systems, bottom-neck analysis, process decision making, monitoring and alerting.
Supply chain management includes the processes of raw material procurement, inbound logistics, production, outbound logistics, sales and marketing. Information technologies are used to integrate and streamline supply chain processes. In order to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of supply chain management, knowledge management tools and business intelligence are used to improve the supply chain processes and are embedded in it. Some examples such as knowledge portal, workflow engine, performance indicators, dashboard, alerts and alarming, RFID, mobile apps, and geographical information systems are the technologies being used to streamline, monitor and redesign supply chain processes.
In order to forecast the inventory level for just-in-time inventory replenishment and to optimize warehouse planning and control, various statistical and modeling techniques and simulations are researched and applied in supply chain management. Techniques include methods such as: intelligent demand forecasting, time series analysis, support vector regression algorithm, shelf-space optimization, workload optimization, lot sizing and scheduling. Some novel methods such as deep learning, multi-agents, blockchain analysis, network analysis have recently used techniques and skills in intelligent supply chain management, optimization, forecasting and planning.
Industry 4.0 connects machines and systems together for optimizing supply chain performance. The technologies used in Industrial 4.0 include robotics, 3D printing, the internet of things, simulation, augmented reality, big data, cloud computing and cybersecurity. It allows manufacturers to streamline and monitor supply chain processes, share and exchange knowledge and collaborative work to provide customers with a better experience. Research strategies include the design of the integrated supply chain solution, big data analytics, block chain analysis, 3D visualization and cybersecurity. Other than industrial 4.0, industrial 5.0 is the next generation of supply chain that connects people and machine in a more dynamic environment, and provides human-like intelligence for machines to manage supply chain processes and perform decision making based on the supply chain environmental situation and scenarios.
The intelligent supply chain system solution integrates the robots, internet technologies, mobile technologies, 5G technologies, big data, block chain, fintech and machine learning to implement the supply chain workflow, monitoring and decision making. The new systems provide human-like intelligence to complete routine work, and perform self-diagnosis, decision making, scheduling and planning throughout the supply chain processes. The future supply chain will not only integrate the processes from procurement, in-bound and outbound logistics, production, sales and marketing but also provide sensors to detect environmental changes and perform real time marketplace auction and quotation, dynamic pricing, distributed-based on-demand production and delivery, personalized product design and marketing.