Supply chain technologies making waves in 2017


Technology is an integral part of the modern supply chain. Whether it’s companies using it to drive profits or to literally drive products to customers’ doors, there are countless ways technology is being utilized to supplement logistics, innovation and supply chain activities.

Examples of technology being used in the supply chain are pervasive across myriad industries. According to Supply Chain Dive, enterprise operators are hoping that disruptive technologies will help offset food loss post-harvest in the agriculture industry, which is steadily creeping upward. In fact, 59 percent of edible produce doesn’t reach consumers, so large food companies are looking at using innovative tools to improve their supply chains.

Let’s take a look at a few examples of supply chain technologies that are transforming how operations managers interact with their supply chains:


At the beginning of 2016, Supply & Demand Chain Executive contributor Richard Jones forecasted that it would be the year that wearable technology really took off in the supply chain.

“Supermarkets are pushing suppliers harder than ever to meet stringent traceability, food safety, or quality benchmarks and regulations, a situation that looks certain to continue throughout the coming year,” Jones wrote of 2016. “Dealing with this pressure is the biggest challenge the industry faces. To deal with these demands, we will see suppliers turning to advanced IT software and ERP solutions which allow them to monitor and manage every step of the supply process at a macro level.” His predictions weren’t wrong, either. Companies are using these kinds of smart tools to collect data on products on-site and in warehouses across the world, helping them meet ever-increasing customer demands. It follows that in the coming year, this trend will continue as companies find more uses for wearable devices.

Especially in the health care industry, wearable technology is becoming a staple. According to market research firm Kalorama Information, the global market for wearable devices in health care reached more than $13.2 billion in 2016, and it will likely undergo average revenue growth double that of the overall device market in 2017. As health care organizations look for new ways to monitor patients and collect important data, wearables offer an important way to do this on the go and thus increase productivity and, in the long run, improve patient care.

Chat bots

Disruptive technologies are having an impact on the supply chain.Disruptive technologies are having an impact on the supply chain.

According to EBN contributor Puga Sankara, bots, and more specifically chat bots, are transforming how customer service is carried out, as well. Software programs that masquerade as humans can help customers no matter when or where requests come in, which in turn can improve relationships and help drive profits. This technology is especially successful thanks to what Sankara calls “the pervasive texting culture.”

“Chat bots can provide [24 hours a day, seven days a week] support,” Sankara wrote. “The advent of omnichannel has made users have high expectations of being served when and how they want. This technology offers the always-on availability that is becoming expected.”

The cloud

This is a no-brainer. The cloud has been a critical part of the growth of technology over the past few years, and one of its most important applications is helping supply chain managers collaborate with suppliers, manufacturers and distributors so that everyone is on the same page – with the same information. Cloud-based supply chain management tools are crucial assets for gathering, storing and drilling down into huge data sets in order to apply key insights to operations.

For more information about how the cloud can improve supply chain management and help enterprises store and analyze their big data sets, get in touch with the experts at Inspirage today.

Sidharth Gadgil

Sidharth Gadgil | Key Contributor

Sidharth Gadgil brings 13 years of supply chain management and technology experience across high tech, bio tech, industrial manufacturing and retail industries. He studied engineering from Nagpur University, India, and has completed various domain and project management certifications from reputed US universities.