MHI Solutions


Digital, Always-On Supply Chains Are the New Reality

Anyone who attended ProMat 2017 experienced it. Technology is disrupting supply chains and transforming them into more digital, connected and intelligent models. And there is no end in site. Consumers are driving this trend as they demand more buying options and faster service from supply chains that are always-on.

Sensors that enable the collection of massive amounts of supply chain data, coupled with automation, cloud computing and predictive analytics are creating continuously operating supply chains that are more efficient and more cost-effective than traditional models.

According to the recently released 2017 MHI Annual Industry Report, “Next-Generation Supply Chains: Digital, On-Demand and Always-On,” 80 percent of survey respondents believe digital supply chains will be the predominant model within five years. Sixteen percent say they already are.

This issue of MHI Solutions focuses on these digital solutions, from best practices in predictive analytics and wearable technologies to Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things to the impact of robotics and automation.

These solutions have the potential to deliver massive economic and environmental rewards. They boost productivity and sustainability, drive new markets and encourage innovation. And they are becoming more and more essential for business survival. If you have not done so already, the time to jump into this new digital reality is now.

A great way to do that is to get involved; for example, attend the 2017 MHI Executive Summit and Annual Conference October 1-4 in Boca Raton, FL. The conference topics mirror those of this year’s Annual Industry Report and the U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics 2.0.

This conference is a great opportunity to collaborate with solution providers while exchanging ideas with your peers on the most important issues and trends impacting our industry. See pages  70-76 for more information on this event.

I also encourage you to download the 2017 MHI Annual Industry Report and the U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics 2.0. at

I hope this issue of MHI Solutions helps provide the information and resources you need to transform and continuously improve your supply chain.


George W. Prest
Chief Executive Officer, MHI

According to the recently released 2018 MHI Annual Industry Report, “Overcoming Barriers to NextGen Supply Chain Adoption,” eight out of ten survey respondents believe these supply chains will be the predominant model within just five years. However, the report found that the adoption of some of these technologies was slower than originally reported when MHI started the annual report in 2014. The report cites three top barriers to adoption of these technologies: 1. Making the business case for NextGen supply chain investments. 2. Tackling the supply chain skills gap and workforce shortage. 3. Building trust and security in digital, always-on supply chains. This issue of MHI Solutions focuses on the adoption of these digital solutions, from best practices in robotics and artificial intelligence to blockchain and innovations in last mile delivery.

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