Supply chain managers in 2020 have to focus almost all their time on a litany of current systems, moving parts, distributed support staff, and fiscal year OPEX and CAPEX mandatory targets. This leaves very little time to research, develop, and implement emerging technologies which are slowly but surely taking hold across the global landscape.
The future supply chain is going to see continued growth of tech in ways that only seemed possible in Sci-Fi movies, allowing skilled labor to evolve into more strategic, higher value work without the risk of physical injury or fatigue. Overall, implementing elements like autonomous robots, drones, self-driving transportation, Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) oversight will improve speed (with SLA impacts), data collection accuracy, and efficiency. It both enhances and augments human staff to ramp up productivity to levels that have never been beaten. It also dramatically reduces the risk of physical injury in dangerous field and warehouse locations.
In 2030, critical corporate assets such as infrastructure, parts, and equipment could be delivered to warehouses by a self-driving truck and scanned in by an autonomous robot armed with an integrated hand-held scanning device, and a nearly human haptic sensor ability. (This embedded haptic sensor array which allows a delicate sense of touch for items as delicate as fine crystal.)
The asset would then be transported by large industrial drones to more autonomous robots in the field who again rescan the part, and install it into production. After that, additional audits and inspections can be done by smaller drones also equipped with scanning technology. Along the lifecycle, both humans and AI watch the stream of data flowing in and out of a near perfect asset database – with perfect visibility, insight, and control for optimizing supply chain operations.
The supply chain of the future is likely to see expansive growth of autonomous robots in scenarios just like this, allowing human staff to shift to more strategic, less dangerous, and higher value work.
Fulcrum helps supply chain professionals perfect their asset database in today’s human intensive world. Fulcrum will help these same companies prepare for developing trends. We do this by leveraging our core technologies as well as our extensive, and constantly evolving partner network – helping companies be forward-thinking and future-proof.