Next generation (Next-Gen) technologies are being explored for their potential to bring competitive advantage to supply chains as companies cope with the leading operational challenges of increasing customer demands and a shortage of qualified workers.
* By Carol Miller *
As covered in the fifth annual MHI Annual Industry Report—released at MODEX 2018 last April—11 different next generation (NextGen) technologies are being explored for their potential to bring competitive advantage to supply chains as companies cope with the leading two operational challenges of increasing customer demands and a shortage of qualified workers. They include:
- 3D Printing
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Cloud Computing and Storage
- Driverless Vehicles and Drones
- Internet of Things (IoT)
- Inventory and Network Optimization
- Predictive Analytics
- Robotics and Automation
- Sensors and Automatic Identification
- Wearable and Mobile Technology
As companies learn from their first tentative steps piloting NextGen tech pilot projects, more are beginning to deploy these solutions within select portions of their operations. Although the report noted lower-than-predicted adoption rates from the first report released in 2013, it also points to much higher confidence in the ability of these NextGen technologies to transform supply chains in an impactful way.
“It’s very difficult for people and businesses to envision the types of opportunities for process improvements that can come from new technologies such as the ones profiled in the report,” noted George Prest, CEO of MHI. “That’s why we included case studies in the report to illustrate how early adopters are leveraging one or more of these innovations as tools in their tool box.”
Here, MHI Solutions shares four additional examples of NextGen technology deployments from a handful of top supply chains, with insights from corporate leaders about lessons learned and successes achieved.