October 2019 | Commentary | Good Question

GOOD QUESTION | What's the 2020 supply chain buzzword or phrase?

Tags: E-commerce, Technology , Visibility


GIG WORKER. Embracing this growing segment of workers is the key to helping companies handle variability—from last-minute orders to seasonal swings—while remaining agile.

Robert O'Dwyer
Logistics Industry Principal
Kronos Incorporated


AI. It has only just begun to transform freight and logistics. With innovation comes new services and opportunities for cost savings or efficiency gains.

Oren Zaslansky
CEO, Flock Freight


TRANSPARENCY. We need to build it into every aspect of our business.

Frank Hurst
President, Roadrunner Freight



REAL-TIME STATUS UPDATES. Carriers are adjusting to the needs of shippers to have complete visibility over their shipments. Supply chains are tightening, and more deliveries are requiring an appointment.

Marty Freeman
Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President
Old Dominion Freight Line


BLOCKCHAIN. This causes consternation among supply chain stakeholders. For now the applications are constrained to high-value goods and those that can be counterfeited, tainted, and/or corrupted.

Ted Stank
Professor of Supply Chain Operations and Planning
Online Masters in Supply Chain Management
University of Tennessee


BLOCKCHAIN and IoT. We’ve already seen several conversations surrounding blockchain and IoT, but in 2020 we will see these technologies become more predominant in supply chain operations. Whether it’s improving supply chain visibility or streamlining logistics, more businesses will begin to rely on blockchain and IoT for increased efficiency and data management.

Kevin Beasley
CIO, VAI


SUPPLY CHAIN DIGITAL TWIN. With the rise of cloud and algorithmic intelligence, digital representation of a supply chain no longer needs to be a patchwork of models for sourcing, manufacturing, distribution, etc. Instead, a living model can be digitally rendered to simulate real-world events.

Dr. Madhav Durbha
Group VP, Industry Strategy
LLamasoft


AUTONOMOUS MOBILE ROBOTS. They leverage smart devices to augment workforces and create value by eliminating non-value-add activities.

Sean Elliott
Chief Technology Officer
Körber Logistics


AUTONOMOUS MOBILE ROBOTS. Their rise is helping to solve the age-old challenge of non-value-adding movement of material in the warehouse.

John Santagate
Vice President, Robotics
HighJump


REAL TIME. Data is becoming more accessible, but many systems still provide lower levels of granularity without leveraging cloud technology to full capacity. Next year, stakeholders should invest in technologies that provide reliable, real-time views of operations.

Param Shah
Co-Founder and CEO
FactoryFour


DOOR TO FLOOR. The shipment goes directly to the "floor" of the consumer. Some people in logistics refer to these deliveries as "over the threshold."

Bob Hitt
Salesforce


VERIFICATION. New engagement models will gain ground where consumers are scanning product data off the item to verify origins, claims, and safety. The supply chain will have to adapt faster—to digitize granular, accurate data to keep up with consumer demand for a data-driven supply chain.

John McPherson
Director of Global Solutions
rfxcel


ACCESS. Stakeholders, be mindful of requests to “access more detailed data and analytics” from supply chain systems. This helps you improve operational efficiencies, respond to regulations, and empower your customers with precise product data you’ve supplied. Granular data traceability within existing manufacturing processes is critical to ensure you satiate this need.

Ken Currie
Vice President of Business Development
Barcoding, Inc


VISIBILITY. Despite its overuse, the term doesn’t mean much, especially when used to discuss a single mode of transport. While its use will continue in 2020, the focus, rather, should be on the resulting action. Prescriptive recommendations and automated issue resolution are the future of the supply chain.

Vidya Narayanan
Product Marketing Manager
Blume Global


NETWORK-BASED PLATFORM. This provides value beyond the four walls of an organization. In transportation, a network-based TMS allows users to collaborate with a vast shipping community for greater efficiencies such as accessing truckload spot quotes in addition to contracted carrier rates.

Dan Clark
Founder & President
Kuebix


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