In this era of globalization, it is no wonder that there continue to be changes and trends in the supply chain industry. Every day new technical innovations offer the opportunity to reduce this complexity. Here are some of the biggest supply change trends to watch for this year.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is playing a bigger role in many areas of business and life in general. This is also the case with the supply chain industry. A wide variety of self-learning algorithms can be found on the markets. Masses of data are not only generated, but analyzed, linked and patterned by data scientists. This added value enables a customized and individualized customer approach. Also, we will see more robots, drones, vehicles or appliances facilitating logistical coordination and organization in warehouses.
We are also seeing a growing use of virtual and augmented reality as they are becoming more mature. In the areas of logistics, manufacturing and warehousing, AR offers numerous assistive technologies to facilitate the everyday work of employees. Hands-free picking with Augmented Reality, for example, where wearable technology, such as smart glasses, displays all relevant information in the user’s field of sight exactly when they need it. This greatly improves efficiency and reduces costs.
3D printing is another technology that is making its way into many areas of life and business. 3D printing is not only used for small series products or prototypes but is even used in the mass production of car parts. 3D-printed parts can be produced much more cheaply and without loss of quality. This technology can produce multi-material items, such as smartphone components, according to individual customer needs. The will have a profound effect on logistics as more materials will be produced locally.
These technologies and many others are shaping the future of many industries and they will no doubt change efficiencies in the supply chain and warehousing industries.