Sunday 17th Feb 2019 - Logistics Manager Magazine

What’s driving your technology transformation?

Revenue generated by technology across the global supply chain is set to reach $440 billion in 5 years, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 11 per cent, and artificial intelligence is sat firmly behind the wheel driving this transformation, ABI Research has found.

ABI Research’s “Seven Critical Technology Developments Driving Supply Chain Transformation” technology analysis report found that that the supply chain will generate US$4.6 trillion in 2023, 29 per cent up from 2018, by combining technologies and services.

Maria Highland, reporter.

“Supply chain operators must find innovative ways to deliver the three primary tenets of a successful strategy: visibility, intelligence, and efficiency,” said ABI Research senior analyst Nick Finill. “Technologies such as robotics, blockchain, IoT, augmented reality, and especially Artificial Intelligence (AI) are vital for supply chain operators wanting to remain competitive in today’s complex, global, and customer-centric market.”

ABI Research reckons that suppliers, manufacturers, retailers, and logistics service providers will continue to adopt increasingly sophisticated and impactful digital technology strategies to deliver value along the entire logistics value chain. And AI is found to be at the forefront of this, providing a means forecasting demand, optimising planning risks, mitigating risks, transporting goods, serving customers, and so on.

More importantly, AI facilitates greater levels of automation which is and has been a major trend in the supply chain for a number of years. It also caters to e-commerce, which benefits greatly from new approaches to digital technologies in the supply chain (including automation and robotics). E-commerce giants like Ocado, Amazon, Walmart and Kroger have been investing religiously in robotics and AI to drive supply chain transformation to the next level.

“The supply chain is generally ripe for disruption, but it is also a highly intricate and crucial ecosystem. Supply chain stakeholders, therefore, face the challenge of adopting technologies in the right way and at a rapid pace, but without damaging their own supply chain operations and losing customers in the process,” said Finill.