The New Age of Supply Chain Automation

By John Paxton, CEO, MHI

The pandemic has thrown many challenges into supply chains, and rarely have leaders faced such complex and changing conditions. What COVID-19 revealed is that many supply chains grew brittle in their decades-long quest for cost-savings while others that invested in emerging technologies and risk-planning proved to be agile and resilient enough to survive, and even thrive, during the pandemic induced disruption.

This proved what many thought leaders have been preaching–that digital technology, with robotics and automation at its core, is critical to any operation that wants to win in the future. These technologies will be required for firms to adapt and build in resiliency against future supply chain risk and disruption. As COVID-19 and e-commerce pushes traditional supply chains to their limits, automation allows companies to remain competitive by limiting their reliance on manual labor for repetitive tasks while improving speed, agility and accuracy.

Pre-pandemic, the 2020 MHI Annual Industry Report predicted that adoption would reach 73% in 3-5 years. COVID-19 has dramatically accelerated this adoption as firms move to build missing resiliency into their supply chains to remain competitive. Merging these robotics and automated solutions with other digital technologies like IoT, AI, advanced analytics, AR/VR and cloud computing only grows this resiliency and builds in the visibility necessary to deliver on ever-changing consumer demands as well as to mitigate future shocks.

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

Another important resource on this topic will be the 2021 MHI Annual Industry Report, which will debut during ProMatDX, MHI’s state-of-the-art digital expo being held April 12-16, 2021. ProMatDX will be previewed in this issue, as well.

ProMatDX is one digital platform where the industry can come together to find manufacturing and supply chain solutions, problem-solve, connect with peers and learn the latest trends and innovations that will take their supply chains to the next level of agility and resiliency.

ProMatDX will provide not only solution-sourcing but also the important ability to see equipment and system solutions in-action through live video. This exciting, new digital experience will also offer AI-based matchmaking, live video conferences, cutting-edge streamed keynote and educational sessions on leading trends and technologies from industry thought leaders.
From manufacturing and assembly, IT, fulfillment and delivery, robotics and automation and emerging digital technologies, there will be many exciting new solutions to evaluate and choose from. If you do one thing in 2021 to learn and experience the latest and best solutions for your business, make sure that you attend ProMatDX.

You can learn more about this important event starting on page 60.
I encourage you to use resources like ProMatDX, the MHI Annual Industry Report and MHI Solutions to research and choose the right solution for your unique supply chain needs.

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

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