From The Editor

Technology Investments Coming to Supply Chains

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MCN Editor Dan Markham In recent years, supply chain members have been a little hesitant on investing in innovative technologies. That is expected to change in 2019, reports MHI, the largest organization devoted to material handling, logistics and supply chains.

A recent survey from MHI and Deloitte Consulting LLP indicates investment will increase 95 percent this year, as participants anticipate the move toward digital supply chains.

According to the survey, the five leading trends that will affect supply chains in the coming year are, in order: robotics and automation, predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and driverless vehicles and drones. Each of those innovations can be viewed as either a disruptive force or an opportunity for competitive advantage.

Respondents also expect many innovations to become near-ubiquitous in factories and warehouses. Cloud computing and storage is expecting to reach 91 percent adoption rates over the next two years. Over the course of the next five years, predictive analytics will be adopted by 87 percent of firms, followed by IoT at 80 percent, robotics and automation at 72 percent, AI at 55 percent and driverless vehicles and drones at 51 percent.

Interestingly, the primary barrier to the widespread implementation of many of these developments remains on the human side. The skills gap and workforce shortage ranked as the biggest challenge (at 65 percent), followed by customer demands for lower prices (56 percent) and customer demands for faster response times (54 percent).

To see the complete report, visit here.