Supply Chain Metamorphosis
While supply chain management predictions are digitized in nature, the automated progression may be closer than you think.
Out-dated procedures are limiting end-to-end efficiency and clouding transparency. Enter automation, robotics, artificial intelligence, and predictive analysis to restructure the logistics and oversight of supply chain management on a comprehensive level.
Over the next 10 years, fully optimized machines running self-regulating software could be expansively covering the day to day work flow and nuances involved in all functional aspects of the supply chain, beginning to end. While minimal human oversight is required, this automation will not completely replace the need for human intervention.
A common fear dispersed in topics involving automation and robotics in general is the void digitization places over humans in general. “Technology is replacing people in supply chain management – and doing a better job. It’s not hard to imagine a future in which automated processes, data governance, advanced analytics, sensors, robotics, artificial intelligence, and a continual learning loop will minimize the need for humans. But when planning, purchasing, manufacturing, order fulfillment, and logistics are largely automated, what’s left for supply chain professionals?” [Allan Lyall, Pierre Mercier, Stefan Gstettner, Harvard Business Review]
The apparent shift is rather obvious and greatly understated.
Retraining + restructuring.
Specialists will need to be trained to be proficiently adept and comprehensively versed to interpret the data produced by all digital components. The shift then comes from direct human involvement to directly supervising automation. The human role progressively evolves when a more streamlined supply chain management system is optimally set in place.
A control tower will always be needed to facilitate and oversee the entire process. Monitoring data with a decision team allows for inclusive visibility at all times. Prevention, shortfalls, bottlenecks, and unwarranted fees will unquestionably decrease as transparency and efficiency increase.
“The managers and companies working to update their skills and processes today are the
ones who will come out on top.” [The Death of Supply Chain Management, Harvard Business Review]
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