What digital tools can help manage increasingly disrupted supply chains?
Forty-nine percent of supply chain leaders have accelerated spending in digital technologies to make their operations more responsive and forward-looking during the pandemic, according to “Innovation Driven Resilience” an annual industry report from the Material Handling Industry (MHI) trade organization.
The survey of over 1,000 manufacturing and supply chain leaders from a range of industries done in collaboration with Deloitte found 83 percent believe digital supply chains will be the predominant model within just five years versus only 22 percent that believe they are now.
Many technologies are expected to reach widespread adoption over the next three to five years, including:
- Cloud computing and storage, from a current adoption rate at 57 percent, to 88 percent over the next three to five years;
- Sensors & automation identification, from 42 percent to 83 percent;
- Predictive analytics, from 31 percent to 79 percent;
- Inventory & network optimization, from 45 percent to 76 percent;
- Robotics and automation, from 38 percent to 76 percent;
- Industrial Internet of Things, from 27 percent to 73 percent;
- Wearable & mobile technology, from 26 percent to 67 percent;
- Artificial Intelligence, from 17 percent to 62 percent;
- Autonomous vehicles & drones, from 20 percent to 57 percent;
- 3D printing, from 21 percent to 53 percent;
- Blockchain, from 12 percent to 53 percent.
A survey last fall of 450 supply chain decision-makers in the U.S. from Interos overwhelmingly agreed (97 percent) that better visibility into their suppliers is imperative, but less than half (44 percent) currently have a single solution for monitoring their entire supply chain. Ninety-one percent agree that a streamlined way to continuously monitor the entire supply chain for risks would have helped their supply chain to be more resilient against the disruption caused by the pandemic.
A new study from Gartner stressed the importance of focusing on long-term goals and adapting to structural shifts, such as new technologies and changing competitive dynamics, in overcoming supply chain disruption.
“Disruption is not a short-term situation, but a long-term trend that will most likely accelerate as we face climate change impacts, global power balance shifts and more,” said Simon Bailey, senior director analyst at Gartner, in a statement.
- Need for Resilience Amid Pandemic Disruption Powering Digital Supply Chain Investments – Material Handling Industry/Business Wire
- New Report Illustrates Severity of COVID-19 Impact on Global Supply Chains, Risk of Further Disruption – Interos/GlobeNewswire
- Gartner Says “Fit” Supply Chains Create New Competitive Advantages During Disruption While “Fragile” Organizations Struggle – Gartner
- Supply Chain Disruptions up 67 percent in 2020, According to Resilinc Study – Supply & Demand Chain Executive
- Deloitte report reveals how organizations can better prepare for future disruption – Deloitte
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Which emerging digital technologies cited in the article will be most beneficial in managing future disruption across the supply chain? Which do you think are less practical?