Cainiao Paving the Way for Next-Generation Digital Supply Chain Management

Driving Data-Driven Business Decisions and Warehouse Automation

At this year’s Open Week, Cainiao’s CEO Wan Lin addressed the state of the logistics industry today. Instead of focusing solely on efficiency, he emphasized the need to stabilize and strengthen the resilience of every node of the value chain. Amidst an increasingly complex global economy, the industry must embrace technology- and data- driven solutions and scale operational efficiencies to tackle potential disruptions.

In line with Cainiao’s vision to digitalize supply chain operations in the ecosystem, a series of new-age innovations were spotlighted. These tools will augment existing offerings and benefits for merchants and end-consumers, as well as streamline workflows across the supply chain.

Cainiao Technology’s General Manager, Dr Ding Hongwei shares the latest supply chain innovations

Next-Generation Supply Chain Management to Future-Proof the Business

To build greater resilience and readiness against potential disruptions in the future, Cainiao will be redefining how global supply chains can deliver value and building on traditional supply chain systems.

Parts of Cainiao’s current supply chain that are still supported by traditional systems will be digitalized. For one, the operations management capabilities of the traditional Warehouse Management System (WMS) will be improved upon to form the new Warehouse Operations Management System (WOMS). This is accompanied by a more comprehensive integration of control capabilities in the current Traffic Management System (TMS) to form the new Traffic Management and Control System (TMCS). Additionally, the Billing Management System (BMS) will also be integrated with the traditional Order Management System (OMS) to form the new operations management system for supply chain.

The series of enhancements will culminate in an end-to-end, state-of-the-art digital supply chain management suite that is distinctively Cainiao, and future-proof in the new era of smart logistics.

Digital Supply Chain Control Tower Powering Data-Driven Business Decisions and Risk Management

To streamline business processes and drive operational efficiency across the supply chain, Cainiao’s new digital supply chain control tower will now serve as the backbone of supply chain management. This control tower equips management teams with enhanced visibility to prepare for any potential situations, and empowers operational teams on the ground by streamlining their workflows and increasing overall productivity.

Cainiao Open Week 2022 Technology Day: Digital Supply Chain Control Tower

On top of providing users with an overarching view of operations where anomalies can be detected in advance, the supply chain control tower is also capable of delivering intelligent diagnoses that guide strategic and data-driven decision making. Beyond this, the tower also acts as a consolidation tool by providing a myriad of situational analyses across each operational aspect in the value chain, from planning, procurement, production, storage to logistics. Effectively, this increases the competency and resilience of the entire supply chain for stakeholders, employees, and customers.

So far, Cainiao’s digital supply chain control tower has been implemented in numerous organizations in major industries, and adopted by Procter & Gamble’s largest global distributor, Yishang Yujie. The application of digital supply chain management within the business has empowered managers seated in headquarters to obtain full real-time visibility and status of their global operations spanning manufacturing, distribution and fulfillment. Additionally, they are also able to predict any potential risk factors based on the data collected at various nodes along the value chain.

Quoting Cainiao Technology’s General Manager, Dr Ding Hongwei, “With the acceleration of digitalization across industries, the logistics industry is experiencing profound changes. Cainiao’s objective is to apply our technology and data capabilities in the logistics industry, leveraging digitalization to bolster the industry, and help customers and partners reap the benefits of the digital economy.”

Cainiao’s Proprietary Pallet Shuttle to Deliver Greater Warehouse Automation

Cainiao’s newly-launched proprietary pallet shuttle, designed for palletized cargo management in dense storage spaces

As Cainiao digitalizes supply chain management, one key aspect to focus on is warehouse operations. Cainiao’s proprietary pallet shuttle, an automated vehicle designed for palletized cargo, was unveiled at the Open Week — not only can it help businesses better utilize existing warehouse spaces, but it also effectively reduces operational inefficiencies. As a next-gen intelligent cargo-handling equipment, it is capable of traversing entire pallet storage shelves and adapting to existing layouts as needed.

To reduce industry-associated pain points such as maintenance costs, this pallet shuttle leverages mechanical jacking mechanisms instead of hydraulics, which guarantees up to 200,000 maintenance-free uses, with maximum load up to 1,500kg. It is also capable of operating for up to four hours on a mere 12-minute charge, increasing uptime and maximizing resource usage. To reallocate necessary resources to high workload areas, the system can be optimized such that vehicle distribution can be adjusted mid-operation. This way, the warehouse can handle spikes in productivity, without a need for a larger number of idle vehicles, as each vehicle can be fully utilized across the entire storage space.

The application of this innovation is widely flexible. Whether it’s logistics automation warehouses or manufacturing line factories, it can be deployed in various scenarios as it is supported by Cainiao’s proprietary scheduling algorithm that addresses the efficiency of storage solutions in dense spaces. Together with the automated guided vehicles (AGV), this vehicle will allow storage and retrieval of goods at the same time, enabling maximum utilization of the entire three-dimensional warehouse space.

To find out more about the speech during Cainiao’s Technology Day, you can watch the playback here.

Follow Cainiao Network on LinkedIn to stay updated on the latest developments.

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Cainiao Network

Cainiao Network

The logistics arm of Alibaba Group. Follow us for content on smart logistics and supply chain management