The “Always-On” Supply Chain – Are You Ready?

Economists and logistics pundits are hailing the advent of the “always-on” supply chain – one in which information is as valuable as goods. From drones to the Internet of Things, smart technology is changing the supply chain landscape.

A recent report from MHI, the materials handling and logistics trade organization, listed eight technologies that are key to the always-on supply chain:

  • Predictive analytics
  • Robotics and automation
  • Sensors and automatic identification
  • Wearable and mobile technology
  • Driverless vehicles and drones
  • Inventory and network optimization tools
  • Cloud computing and storage
  • 3D printing

As information flows freely throughout the supply chain, shipping modes will be modified. Warehousing needs will alter. Training and staffing requirements will change. These changes will have a profound effect on the way we all do business. Ask yourself if your business is ready for the always-on supply chain, and consult with your storage professionals to make sure you’re ahead of the curve.

 

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The Remarkable Future of the Supply Chain

Drones, 3D printing – the past few years have seen innovations that could prove highly disruptive to the traditional supply chain. Lora Cecere, CEO of Supply Chain Insights, serves up her predictions for the 2030 supply chain in this post. The highlights include:

  1. Autonomous Supply Chain. Sensors, robotics, and GPS combined into an adaptive, cognitive system that automates manufacturing and warehouse management, and reduces heavy machinery downtime through sensors and connectivity.
  1. Safe and Secure Supply Chain. An automated chain of custody will reduce spoilage, secure hazardous shipments, and guard against fakery in everything from purses to pharmaceuticals.
  1. 3D Printing. Everything from spare parts to medical devices will be individualized and printed as needed.
  1. Learning Systems and Network of Networks. Manufacturers, shippers, and consumers will know where any customized order is in the process, at any time, in any place, thanks to supply chain systems that learn cognitively, and a network that talks to all other networks.

What do these changes mean for your business? Is your business ready for this brave new world? And where do storage systems fit into the big picture?

 

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