Advances in artificial intelligence, sensors, communications, and materials and manufacturing technologies (like 3D printing) are making it possible to build machines that can move around on their own. In supply chains, these machines can replace people for moving goods short distances or long distances, on the ground, in the air, and over water. Drones can also be used for gathering inventory data and inspecting facilities. Any place that is difficult to find and keep employees with the skills to do a task properly becomes a target for automation, as is any place where labor cost is a significant percentage of the overall process cost. So if truck drivers are in short supply, or if they are expensive, then we should expect to see autonomous trucks entering the supply chain more quickly.
- There are really exciting innovations…emerging in the world of machines.…Some people call these advanced manufacturing…and distribution technologies.…But for me it's really about…creating an advanced supply chain.…So let's take a look at how automation…is changing supply chain management.…With artificial intelligence,…sensors and wireless communications,…we're now able to build machines…that know what's happening around them…and that can respond quickly.…
That's enabling more automation which basically means…we're replacing human workers…with robots of one sort or another.…Robots are now common in large factories…and in distribution centers.…In many cases, they can lift heavier loads than people…and they can work extremely fast.…They don't take vacations, they don't change shifts…and they don't take lunch breaks.…So robots can increase your efficiency…by evening out the flow of your supply chain processes.…
While some robots work independently,…others work side by side with people,…basically acting like assistants.…
- Explore the fundamentals of source inputs within a supply chain.
- Examine the role of returning products in a supply chain.
- Determine how to calculate total costs.
- Explore the role of investing in flexibility when managing a supply chain.
- Discover how to increase visibility with a control tower.
- Identify the role innovation plays in supply chain management.
- Examine how artificial intelligence and machine learning help to monitor supply chain trends.
- Break down the fundamentals of selecting the right technology when implementing a supply chain agenda.
- Determine the best ways to collaborate externally when implementing a supply chain agenda.