What supply chain technology trends are set to revolutionize your supply chain in 2017 and beyond?
Supply chain executives recognize digital disruption is carving new opportunities in business process automation and organizational management – with increasing tenacity. As 2017 comes into focus, several key technological initiatives are topping corporate agendas.
Here are 7 Supply Chain Technology Trends for 2017
1. Customer-Centric Investments
In all industries, the focus on customer-centric technologies and strategies is accelerating. Everyone wants to communicate better and more productively, with the customer. In the supply chain, manufacturers have been increasingly focused on customers, with demands for customer centricity spawning the release of individualized products, as well as, creating an entire supply chain process that is customer focused. The push will be for manufacturers to get better about analyzing disparate data sources, sensing demand, actually predicting market drivers, and responding quickly and precisely to enhanced customer expectations throughout 2017.
2. Big Data Analytics
It is a fact that right now big data is delivering to supplier networks a greater data accuracy, clarity, and decisive insight, signaling a rise in more contextual intelligence shared across supply chains. Advanced analytics are being integrated into more and more optimization tools, including demand forecasting, integrated business planning, and supplier collaboration, as well as risk analytics. Big data is helping the supply chain meet increasing demands for shipment and transactional as organizations push to function as digital enterprises. The Forbes article “Ten Ways Big Data Is Revolutionizing Supply Chain Management” readily demonstrates how big data is positioning to revolutionize how supplier networks form, grow, proliferate into new markets, and mature over time.
Read Also: Will Big Data change the world?
3. Cyber Security
According to a Deloitte and MAPI study: connected industrial control systems expose manufacturers to cyber threats; manufacturing executives currently lack the confidence that their assets are protected from external threats. In the study, “Cyber Risk in Advanced Manufacturing,” by Deloitte and the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI), nearly 40% of surveyed manufacturing companies were affected by cyber threats in the past 12 months, with almost all cyber breaches resulting in damages over $1 million. With increasing threats to intellectual property, supply chain executives are prioritizing data protection technologies and strategies in 2017, including preventive and detective data protection investments.
4. Going to the Cloud
New cloud computing technologies are enabling innovations in Supply Chain Management (SCM) applications are enabling cloud deployments. Why? Supply chain management in the cloud makes organizations more competitive. Cloud applications deliver a transformational impact on the business and the supply chain operating model by optimizing opportunities for mobile collaboration and enhanced data analytics. A cloud-based supply network allows information to be more readily available, bringing greater value to operational processes regarding end-to-end visibility. In fact, according to IDC, by 2018, 27.8% of the worldwide enterprise applications market will be SaaS-based, generating $50.8B in revenue up from $22.6B or 16.6% of the market in 2013.
5. Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things will connect 25 billion devices by 2020, generating both excitement and skepticism regarding the value to the supply chain. Gartner’s “Internet of Things in Supply Chain: What’s Real Now,” which looks closely at how smart devices are changing the customer’s user experience, as well as how disruptive IoT innovations are targeting the supply chain. Supply chain strategists can use this research to distinguish between the future promise of IoT innovation versus what will deliver value now. With that said, the IoT revolution is already here, Amazon is taking advantage of IoT innovation with IoT order buttons that allow customers to place orders with the push of a button.
6. Digital Transformation
A recently released IDC Manufacturing Insights report suggests manufacturers who do not embrace digitization will struggle to succeed in coming years. According to the report, by 2018, only 30% of manufacturers investing in digital transformation will be able to maximize the outcome; with the remaining held back by outdated business models and technology. By 2019, 75% of large manufacturers will update their operations and operating models with Internet of Things (IoT) and analytics-based situational awareness to mitigate risk and speed up time to market. Additionally, by 2018, 60% of large manufacturers will bring in new revenue from information-based products and services, while embedded intelligence will drive profitability levels. What does this mean for supply chain technological investments? Manufacturers are equating investment in digital transformation with building business value for an escalating digital economy.
7. Autonomous Supply Chain
In 2017, the industry would be making critical steps towards creating an autonomous supply chain in the very near future. The autonomous supply chain will be driven by technologies that are now in early proof of concept stages. Some of these disruptive technologies include Uber’s self-driving truck, Amazon’s drone delivery within 30 minutes or less, and various robotic tasks that are currently replacing mundane tasks at assembly lines, warehouses, and industrial farming environments. For instance, in 2016, Uber’s self-driven truck successfully delivered of over 50,000 cans of Budweiser. These disruptive technology tests and implementations demonstrate the shift towards an autonomous supply chain in upcoming years.