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.