2017 MHI Annual Industry Report: Think Big, Start Small, Act Fast

Fourth MHI Annual Industry Report Says Digital Supply Chain Will Be Predominant Model Within Five Years

After four years of surveying supply chain executives, MHI and report partner Deloitte have seen the original predictions about disruptive technologies changing traditional supply chain models from the initial Annual Industry Report in 2014 come to fruition.

“A full 80% of the 1,100 manufacturing, logistics and supply chain industry leaders surveyed now say that the digital supply chain will be the predominant model within five years, and 16% say it already is today,” says Scott Sopher, principal and leader of the global supply chain practice at Deloitte.

“Just four years ago, the technologies we initially talked about as being emergent are now viable products that people could see, touch and interact with out on the show floor at ProMat,” he continues. “Leaders throughout supply chains now recognize what we’ve been seeing for the past three years—and it’s amazing how much the industry has moved in this digital direction in such a short timeframe.”

In the new 2017 MHI Annual Industry Report, “Next-Generation Supply Chains: Digital, On-Demand and Always-On,” which was released in a keynote panel discussion at ProMat 2017, the latest trends and adoption rates associated with eight disruptive technologies are revisited. They include:

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

Conducted at the end of 2016, this year’s survey included a ninth technology for the first time: the Internet of Things (IoT), defined as everyday objects with embedded computing devices that utilize the Internet to connect with other systems, enabling them to send and receive data in real-time.

The 2017 report also introduced the topic of Smart City logistics, and how these technologies can help metropolitan areas address the increasing challenges of congestion, noise and pollution associated with more frequent last-mile deliveries to their growing populations.

By Carol Miller

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