The evolution of the supply chain requires the adoption and adaptation of its leaders to the emerging technologies that are revolutionizing the way supply chains operate. Productivity and sustainability must go together on today's supply chain manager's agenda. The next-generation supply chain demands efficiency, agility, and flexibility.
A successful and balanced combination of automation and digital technologies is key to driving superior supply chain performance. Along with innovation, this can transform the supply chain, accelerate cost savings, and raise competitiveness.
The emerging supply chain: What the digital supply chain brings
There is no doubt that the supply chain framework is evolving from the traditional model into a more connected, harmonized network of trading partners.
According to the 2017 MHI Annual Industry Report, the next-generation supply chain is digital, on-demand, and always-on. Innovative technologies will potentially transform supply chains into fully integrated next-generation models. The ability to adapt to and adopt these changes will determine which businesses will succeed inthe end.
The MHI survey, which was done in collaboration with Deloitte Consulting, found that 80% of respondents, including CEOs, VPs, general managers, and department heads, believe the digital supply chain will be the predominant model within the next five years. Meanhwile, 16% of the supply chain leaders surveyed are certain that the digital age is already here. Respondents included 1,100 manufacturing and supply chain industry leaders
Innovative technologies shape the next-generation supply chain
Disruptive technologies born in this digital era include robotics and automation; predictive analytics; Internet of Things (IoT); autonomous vehicles and drones; sensors and automatic identification, inventory and network optimization tools; and wearables and mobile technologies. Each has the potential to transform industries and change consumer expectation. Cloud computing and blockchain will continue to support ongoing improvements.
Consider this: more data has been created in the past two years than has been made in all previous years combined. Next-generation supply chains will use this trend to develop new digital capabilities such as the strategic placement and use of sensors and artificial intelligence (AI).
Available data (scrubbed for accuracy) provides a solid foundation for real-time visibility and information sharing. When filtered through a layer of analytics and communicated across the entire supply chain, godo data allows for proactive and full-sighted operations, according to the report.
Automation and wearables are populating the warehouse bringing insight to supply chain workers who make necessary adjustments based on real-time information. Machines augment human performance. The result of this is an always-on and on-demand networks that are efficiently tied to the broader business strategy and becomes a source of competitive advantage.