With more technological innovations churning the sea, logistics is not what it used to be. Innovative technology is poised to disrupt supply chain logistics around the world.
As per the surveys conducted by Gati Logistics, the trend has moved towards the identification of technology as being vital to core policy for supply chain movement. What is important is the recognition of the specific areas where managerial policy needs a careful accommodation of technological advancements.
Let us look at some of the primary technological innovations most often cited by supply-chain business executives as being disruptive in near future.
1. 3-D PRINTING
3D printing is entering the world markets at a high rate of personalization that is capable of drastically streamlining an otherwise complex supply-chain system. Companies are designing things ranging from jet fuel nozzles to dental implants using simple 3D computer assemblies. For instance, if the dental implants come made of 30 components, it would normally require each of those products to have its own supply chain, so that the3D printing systems are capable of reproducing whole product catalogues under a single roof.
The absolute compression that will happen on the supply chain due to this is obvious. It is an opportunity, but at the same time,it is upending for the current supply chain system.
2. MICRO ANALYSIS
Until now, it is observation that delivery and logistics of services was not a segment that required too much looking into or had much scope in improvements. However, with the coming of the internet of fine things, there is a great possibility of predictive analysis in many fields where logistics was previously generic.
This means that now businesses can have a very clinical view of how consumers utilise their products. This could be a cold beverage business that can now analyse the consumption patterns of its flavours much more in real time, within any given consumption parameter.
3. SELF-DRIVING CARS AND TRUCKS
Self-driving cars are all rage amongst the upcoming major technologies. Supply chain professionals, are analyzing the various ways this new technology could bring changes to their supply chain.Driver less trucks hold the promise of drastically reducing labour costs and increase efficiency. There is also a shortage of commercial drivers around the world.
This would have a role to play towards bringing in driver less cars into the supply chain business.
Robotics has been around in major supply chain businesses for quite a while. Yet the breakthrough lies in the coming of more efficient lightweight robots compared to the heavy-duty variants that were in use so far.
This is possible due to constant innovations in the manufacture of AI and sensor technologies.This has enabled robotic work in tandem with humans. Not just this, robots are now being designed to garner knowledge throughout the duration of their work life. Bring in packing, unloading, taking orders, cross checking inventories. The robots are soon coming to the supply chain business with all the force.
With the coming of exemption 333 in the USA, the ban on commercial use of drones is gone. This has ushered in massive growth in the drone development and use. With huge money spent on R&D, one can imagine the role drones are going to play in B2C supply chain systems in the years to come. Most important will be the influence drone technology is going to have in developing countries of the world.
As per the informatics realized by Gati logistics, commercial drone industry can disrupt existing supply chain networks only if we are not fast enough in accommodating drones in our supply systems.
These are not the only technologies that are capable of disrupting and changing supply chain management, as we know it. Technology is for ever changing and therefore the trends are always evolving. To stay afloat and to stay ahead, supply chain managers need to anticipate them and adapt to them before others. The more the business understands how to do it, the higher will be its chances of reaching the next level of growth.