With mother’s day imminent, I was thinking about how do the flowers get from a click of the mouse to your mother’s door. Since the product I work on, AlertSite, is concerned with performance across the digital supply chain. Certainly there is a physical supply chain, so I researched that first to try and extrapolate what the digital supply chain might be. I found an article from supply chain 247 that even has a cool infographic.
In any case, it takes two weeks for flowers to get to a retail store, it involves cold transport, customs, more cold transport, initial warehouse distribution, retail distribution centers and finally retail stores.
I imagine the digital chain, that is the counterpart, could be thought of in two halves; the wholesale supply chain, harvest to warehouse and then warehouse to retail.
In the case of wholesale, there is bound to be inventory systems, and ordering applications and supply chain applications to direct shipments- they probably need to work together – perhaps an API to connect the inventory system to the order packing check lists.
On the retail side, once you click a button to order online--there is an application for payment and probable a different one for scheduling delivery. These have to connect up to the inventory system, and then at the local delivery level there has to be a connection as well. I do not imagine this is all one application but many connected by APIs to pull this off.
Just as people have to manage the complex physical supply chain to get the flowers from harvest to inventory, someone has to look out for the digital supply chain as well to make sure the flowers get to your mother. It can look like magic, click a button – your mom get’s flowers on the right day- but the digital route is as complex as the physical route. Just food for thought when you click that button.
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