4 Ways Technology Will Shape the Future of Supply Management
The global adoption of the technologies, specifically regarding the Internet of Things (IoT), has changed how virtually every business conducts themselves. Nowadays, we’re all used to spending inordinate amounts of our time surrounded by these technologies: our phones, laptops, tablets, smartwatches, Amazon Alexa's, you name it. So it should come as little shock that the future of supply chain management will largely be driven by technology.
But just how will it be? Well, we’ve combed through the facts and figures to share with you what we believe are the four biggest ways technology will shape the future of supply chain management.
Enhanced GPS devices
The days where you once had to print-out your MapQuest directions before leaving the house are a relic of the past.
Nowadays, everyone has a high-quality, pinpoint-accurate GPS on them or in their car. Smartphones and in-car infotainment systems continually get more accurate and user-friendly with each passing generation.
This advanced accuracy of GPS will benefit both supply management businesses and the customers and clients they represent. Everything from order efficiency to delivery speed will be improved as GPS devices continue to evolve.
At this point it may feel like if you’re not on social media, are you even a member of society?
The power of these social media platforms is huge. And, because of this, they can be leveraged to improve the logistical and customer service sides of the supply management industry.
In figures recently reported by Hootsuite, nearly 60 percent of all Americans agree that conducting customer service requests through social media has created a level of transparency between them and the corporation they interact with. This allows them to ask questions and share their concerns about products, services, and more. Regarding data logging, these inputs can then be incorporated into the company’s model, helping to improve existing systems.
Shipment tracking systems
Once upon a time when you placed an order, you just had twiddle your thumbs and hope your package was on its way. This, like having to print out physical directions, is something of a distant memory for most people.
In today’s world, internet and software advances give customers the ability to track their shipped packages at any hour of the day. This 24/7 ability to check packages is a win-win situation for both the consumer and the company they’ve placed an order with. It lets the customer know the whereabouts of their goods while saving the company time and money from having to employ around-the-clock customer service representatives. Also, companies can take advantage of improved circumstance monitoring because of these advancements in shipment tracking systems.
That, and how could you complain about a technological advancement which lets you check on your packages from the cozy confines of your living room?
Drones and autonomous vehicles
Someday soon than later, your package from, say, Amazon or Walmart might be delivered to your front door via a drone or driverless truck.
Companies like Uber and Tesla are all developing semi- and fully-autonomous trucks that are capable of making long hauls—without a driver behind the wheels. Should these vehicles become homologated across the world, it could save not only large sums of money and the environment, but it could help thwart episodes of driver fatigues and on-road accidents.
Also, companies like Amazon are quickly moving toward seeing drone deliveries to fruition. And while they’re still a few years out because of regulation, it’s going to happen, sooner or later. So, whenever these delivery drones do come to the market, you might be able to get certain packages in as little as a few hours.
Suffice to say that the future of supply chain management looks brighter (and quicker) than ever, don't you agree?