A supply chain refers to the network of warehouses, offices, and facilities where products are stored and prepared for distribution to the end customers. This includes the facilities where the products are not only procured but converted into finished products. GIS (geographic information technology) plays a pivotal role in improving the supply chain and making it more reliable and effective for producers and customers.
GIS in Supply Chain: How it Helps
The goal is to create a seamless link between the distribution and manufacturing facilities through its visual maps. It helps represent the information visually, making it easy for businesses to figure out the shortest and best route between the company and distribution facilities. You can also use the tool to get a better understanding of the alternative routes you can take. This helps companies in selecting other effective routes for the supplies should any problem occur.
GIS is widely used for finding out the most suitable locations for warehouses, depots, and other manufacturing facilities. GIS helps in establishing a perfect route to different links in the supply chain so that it’s easier for businesses to identify the most suitable place to set up their business and run daily operations. GIS takes several factors into consideration when discovering the best route to the target destination. For instance, the technology helps you determine which warehouse is located close to your source of incoming materials. And where it is easy to transport the goods to the end customer or other facilities.
Visual Presentation of the Data
So, when the supply chain is combined with the GIS, several decisions are related to selecting the best route and identifying the most suitable location for setting up the warehouses, and risk mapping can be conducted in the most effective way. The best part is that this data can be presented visually so that a visual mapping helps people identify the perfect location for different facilities in the supply chain efficiently. GIS enables businesses to analyze the complete profile of the business, check warehouse locations, and identify other details in order to get a better understanding of different locations. It is also used for risk mapping. Using the GIS visual maps, one can identify the risks associated with the supply chain — be it artificial risks or natural disasters.
GIS helps resolve most types of problems in the supply chain. It gives you answers to the questions like, what is my total drive time from my place to the central facility, which is the fastest and shortest route to the target destination, how can I identify the products through my supply chain, is there any alternative route for the delivery of the goods? If there’s any problem in the current route or if the roads are closed, the delivery truck can easily change the route to the alternative roads. Without GIS, it is not possible to get a visual representation of the data related to the proximity of different locations to customers’ places, warehouses, and other locations.