CEO UPDATE: Data-Driven Supply ChainsRisk Versus Big Reward

* By George W. Prest, Chief Executive Officer, MHI  *

We can all agree that the risk of becoming a technology laggard is fraught with peril. From the famous Kodak story to more recent examples like Borders, Blockbuster and Toys “R” Us, there are many cases of major brands that failed because they did not innovate.

With supply chain complexity showing no signs of slowing, the risk of inaction is only growing. Leading manufacturing and supply chain executives agree that technology is the key to future success. As they digitize their supply chains they are generating more data than ever before, giving them the power to leverage that data to see their businesses in new ways and to make better decisions. These early adopters are creating real and measurable competitive advantage.

But digitizing your supply chain can be risky. With a broad array of providers promising the latest and greatest solutions for increased efficiency, improved productivity and reduced costs, where do you start? How do you determine which solutions are right for your business? How do you measure ROI and avoid over-investing in bleeding edge technology that may never result in a commercial outcome?

This issue of MHI Solutions tackles this important topic to help you answer these questions with best practices and real-world examples of how leading firms are investing in technology and seeing big payoffs.

Another important resource on this topic will be the 2019 MHI Annual Industry Report, which will debut at ProMat 2019, an event we are also previewing in this issue. ProMat is the industry’s largest material handling and supply chain expo showcasing 1,000 of the leading solution providers with exhibits spanning 410,000 square feet.

ProMat is where manufacturing and supply chain professionals come to discover the latest solutions and establish partnerships with key suppliers. They also come to learn about important trends and connect with their peers in over 100 conference, keynote and networking sessions. The event will be held April 8-11 in Chicago.

ProMat 2019 is set to be the largest ProMat on record and the event will feature a new Solution Center on emerging technologies. From automation and robotics to advanced analytics and artificial intelligence to blockchain and the Industrial Internet of Things there will be a number of exciting new solutions to evaluate and choose from. If you do one thing in 2019 to learn and experience the latest and best solutions for your business, make sure you attend ProMat.

You can learn more about this important event starting on page 71.

I encourage you to use resources like ProMat, the MHI Annual Industry Report and MHI Solutions to research and choose the right solution for your unique needs. Start by asking yourself, will this solution eliminate inefficiencies? Will it improve decision-making? How will this solution fit into my current operations?

When it comes to technology investment start small but think big. Build on your successes and learn from your failures. By investing wisely, you’ll create additional value in your supply chain and widen your advantage over the competition.

I hope you enjoy this issue, and that it inspires you to innovate and take advantage of these exciting opportunities.

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