Supply chain disruptions: massive investments in technology – Transport Routier

Shortly after the tabling of the Quebec budget, the president of the Quebec Trucking Association (ACQ), Marc Cadieux, said that he saw among his carrier members an appetite for the digital shift and technologies in general.

It seems that the trend is global, according to a report prepared by MHIa North American group of supply chain professionals, in collaboration with the consulting firm Deloitte. A survey was conducted of 1074 supply chain actors from across the globe, 43% of them from North America.

The “lack of clarity of the potential for profitability” has been identified as the number one barrier to the adoption of new technologies. (Photo: Pixabay)

From the outset, we learn that nearly 80% of respondents say they have accelerated their digital transformation due to the pandemic.

The authors of the report entitled Evolution to Revolution: Building the Supply Chains of Tomorrow expect investments in supply chain innovation to increase markedly over the next two years.

Of the 64% of respondents who plan to increase their technology investments, two-thirds say they will spend more than $1 million on it over the next two years. Another 41% say they want to invest more than $5 million and 18% more than $10 million.

“Supply chains are becoming increasingly dependent on technology. Although companies have not adopted certain technologies as quickly as they thought they would in 2014 or 2015, we are now seeing a major leap in these investments,” said Thomas Boykin, director of the supply chain division at Deloitte.

And when we talk about “technologies”, the avenues considered are multiple. It’s about artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, inventory optimization, robotics and automation, wearable mobile technologies, autonomous vehicles and drones, 3D printing, the Internet objects, cloud computing, sensors and automatic identification or blockchains.

Together, these technologies are expected to achieve a 66% adoption rate from respondents. For example, more than 30% of them believe that autonomous vehicles have the potential to provide a competitive advantage to their users.

Profitability potential not clear enough

However, tech companies will have to do their homework and more clearly demonstrate the profitability potential of the solutions they offer since the “lack of clarity of the profitability potential” has been identified as the number 1 obstacle to the adoption of each of the 11 technologies mentioned above.

John Paxton, President and CEO of MHI, believes that these business cases have a crucial role to play as a roadmap for investments in supply chain technologies. “They paint the big picture of why change is imperative to create ongoing value. It always comes down to using technology to better serve customers,” he says.

The full report can be downloaded for free at click here.

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Supply chain disruptions: massive investments in technology – Transport Routier

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