20-23 November 2024

How Digitization of Supply Chain in Metalworking Increases Efficiency and Sustainability


• A variety of external factors create financial hurdles for metalworking manufacturers to overcome.

• Digitization can improve efficiency of every aspect of the supply chain in the metalworking industry.

• Digitization empowers manufacturers with real-time monitoring, insight analysis, automation, traceability, and ability to seamlessly collaborate with stakeholders.



Hardly a day goes by where news related to metalworking industry do not make headlines. These can include anything from targeted cyberattacks, price volatility, semiconductor crisis affecting the automotive industry, to raw material shortages. Moreover, long-term goals such as the aim to achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 are complicating the matter. Consequently, efficient management of supply chain is key to overcoming these challenges.


While each metal fabrication company has different modus operandi, there are still challenges they commonly faced including how to secure operation continuity, how to improve production efficiency, and how to increase profits while implementing sustainable growth.



This is where digitization can be the solution for this problem because the smart connectivity that is highly efficient and sustainable will create a fully integrated supply chain ecosystem. This concept aligns with a study by Deloitte and Manufacturers Alliance that 78% of correspondents believe digital technology can improve supply chain visibility and increase transparency.


In addition, the integration of tracking technology into an ERP (enterprise resource management system that connects and integrates all enterprise data into one system) is a game changer for metalworking industrialists. This is because it will provide notification when products such as rolled steel is expected to be delivered to the factory, so the warehouse staff know when they are needed to unload cargo from transport trucks and move them to the production line instead of waiting for hours without knowing the exact time of the delivery and thus losing hours of valuable productivity.



Here are some examples of digitization that can help metalworking industrialists overcome challenges.


Real-time monitoring. By using sensors and other digital tools, manufacturers can monitor their supply chain in real time, identify potential problems and fix them promptly, reduce the risk of delays and potential interruptions. It also helps to optimize the use of resources such as energy and raw materials which leads to higher production efficiency and lower costs.


Insight analysis by collecting and analyzing data from different parts of the supply chain. For example, if a supplier is constantly slow to deliver or some processes consume more energy than necessary, acknowledging these problems and solving them will enable metalworking industrialists to improve production efficiency and reduce waste.


Automation. Digitization enables work at different stages of the supply chain such as inventory management and order fulfillment to be more automated, which leads to greater efficiency and lower costs.


Traceability. Digitization allows for greater traceability throughout the supply chain such as the tracking of materials and products from the source to the destination. This will ensure that manufacturers achieve highest sustainability standards and strictly comply with regulations.


Seamless collaboration. Digitization enables smoother collaboration between suppliers, customers, and all relevant stakeholders in the supply chain. Therefore, all parties have access to the same information and can work together to optimize the metal production process.



An example of a company that uses digitization successfully is EZDK, one of the largest producers of metal products and sheet metals in the Middle East and North Africa region, which uses a Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM) system that is optimized for metal production. This system enables 24/7 and year-round access to the production management system dashboard from any mobile device in real time and use the information to improve the production process to increase operation efficiency.


In short, the digitization of the metal supply chain can greatly achieve both efficiency and sustainability goals.


For those interested in the latest movements in the metalworking industry, don’t miss the chance to widen your perspectives, explore technical and production possibilities, and discover various innovations at "METALEX 2024" during 20-23 November 2024 at BITEC, Bangkok. For more information, please contact [email protected] or call +66 2686 7222.