It can be argued that one of the oldest industries around, supply chains, is stodgy and a bit stuck in the past when it comes to innovation.
However, the supply chain industry is actually currently undergoing a digital revolution. According to MHI‘s 2017 MHI Annual Industry Report, Next-Generation Supply Chains: Digital, On-Demand and Always-On, 80 percent surveyed think digital supply chains will overtake the traditional model within the next five years. The material handling, logistics and supply chain association MHI partnered up with analyst firm Deloitte Consulting to uncover what the future truly holds for the supply chain industry.
For this report, 1,100 manufacturing and supply chain industry leaders from some of the top industry verticals participated. These participants’ company revenues ranged from $100 million to $10 billion.
This fourth annual report provides an update on the eight technologies it initially predicted would disrupt the supply chain industry just a few years ago. These technologies include inventory and network optimization, sensors and automatic identification, cloud computing and storage, robotics and automation, predictive analytics, wearable and mobile technology, autonomous vehicles and drones, and 3-D printing.
In this year’s report, the organization added a new technology disruptor that should come as no surprise: the Internet of Things (IoT). This new development of IoT had 55 percent of those surveyed saying it has the potential to disrupt the industry and could be seen as a competitive advantage.
MHI’s CEO, George Prest, commented on these technologies’ impact on supply chains. He said, “With a strategic focus and the courage to collaborate, leading firms are utilizing these technologies to create digital capabilities that give them the competitive advantage they need to survive and thrive in today’s on-demand economy.”
Given the speed at which technology is impacting everyday business combined with consumers’ voracious appetite for quick service, it’s likely that we will continue to see the supply chain surprise us in its transformation.