Sooner than later, supply chains will have the ability to run from distribution through fulfillment with minimal human interaction.
Enter full automation.
Set the scene: Software partnered with Artificial Intelligence (AI) could automate orders through consumer demand, most likely through digitized anticipation using machine learning and internet cookie crumbs. Autonomous warehouse bots then pick and pack, shuttling them to both driverless trucks and computerized drones.
While that scenario may seem futuristic, the reality is that most of these aforementioned technologies already exist in segmented aspects. However, according to Wolfgang Lehmacher, Head of Supply Chain and Transport Industries at the World Economic Forum, several variants must be implemented before complete automation is possible:
1. Technological maturity is essential. Pilots and test models will simply not suffice when applied to continuous, real world situations.
2. There is an immediate need for heightened amalgamation and collaboration between “disparate systems.”
3. Smart contracts must allow for automated transactions without the need for back office employees.
4. Acceptance on a comprehensive level must be integrated with a thorough understanding of automation and the overall mission digitization aims to accomplish.
Lehmacher goes on to say, “the entire ecosystem has to be ready for the technological leap and work together to make this happen. The big rethink as well as the broad alignment across the different parts of economic and society has not yet happened.”
The journey begins in warehouses and ends with human acceptance, unity, and inclusive interaction. Supply chain automation would require an overhaul on current systems in place. Digital implementations would have to learn to work with each other on a progressive, evolutionary level. While full supply chain automation is a viable possibility, humans will always be required to manage these systems on a top tier level of control.
If you have any questions involving your businesses logistics, or the current automated systems CLN uses to manage your supply chain, please reach out to us HERE for a free consultation.