The 2018 MHI Annual Industry Report – The Effect of Technology on Modern Supply Chains

Disruptive technologies and innovations are fundamentally changing the way supply chains operate.

The supply chain in most modern businesses is no longer mostly focused on simply moving goods, material, and products from one place to another. In keeping with the information age in which we live and do business, today’s supply chain is the foundation of a data-based system that aims to maximize efficiency and continually meet or exceed customer requirements and expectations.

Supply Chain Consulting and Optimization - Waller & Associates LLC

The 2018 MHI Annual Industry report digs into how supply chains around the world are being transformed by technology and innovation. This report takes a careful look at the key Innovations that are driving, and will increasingly drive in the future, the adoption and use of next generation (NextGen) supply chains, namely:

  • Robotics and Automation
  • Big Data and Predictive Analytics
  • Internet of Things (IoT)/Sensors
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Driverless Vehicles/Drones

The report also delves into the key barriers to widespread adoption of the latest technologies and upgrading to a next generation (NextGen) connection and data-driven supply chain operation and explores strategies and techniques to overcome these.

Major barriers to widespread adoption of NextGen supply chain technologies and practices are:

  • The need to make a business case that will convince decision makers in the business that are not from a supply chain background (e.g. accountants) of the benefits and potential savings that technology adoption will produce
  • A significant skills gap in the supply chain and a shortage of the right kind of workforce members
  • The need to build trust in digital, always-on supply chains, especially among those with little or no past experience of this type of modern, data-driven supply chain

Several case studies are presented in the report that illustrate the benefits and efficiency gains experienced by companies that started to implement and actively use NextGen technology and processes.