5 Technologies Reshaping The Supply Chain For Tomorrow’s Digital Economy

It is predicted that 75 million wearables will permeate the workplace by 2020. MHI, the largest material handling, logistics and supply chain association, expects 70% of facilities to adopt wearable technology in the next five years.  So it does not come as a surprise that an intelligent, automated, connected supply chain represents a vision for tomorrow. 


“What’s occurring at the moment is the Industry 4.0 transition,” Charlie Grieco, VP North American Sales ProGlove, told Supplychainbrain.com. He continued: “We’ve created a wearable that’s a sleeve skin which frees up the hand. We believe in giving humans the ability to do their jobs efficiently and removing some of the complexities that they’re experiencing with technology.”


Although wearables are often viewed from a consumer-first perspective,  the truth of the matter is that wearables in the supply chain have not always been very sophisticated. It is only now that one could say that they present a significant B2B opportunity for forward-thinking businesses. Those who are currently investing in various new technologies are finding that their ROI has improved their supply chain.  Here are five products and services that could reshape your supply chain and give you a competitive edge. 


The Augmented Reality Management Platform


Augmented Reality (AR) technology has been recognised as having the capability to future-proof the global workforce. Transforming how industrial enterprises work, AR company Atheer has created an enterprise AR Management Platform that could potentially eliminate manual roles, and improve the supply chain.


Voted Best Enterprise AR Solution in 2019 Auggie Awards, Atheer’s AR management platform can be tailor-made to your needs and accommodate your unique way of doing business. If you want to invest in something more futuristic it is worth noting that there has been chatter that glasses designed with new augmented reality technology are going to be the next big thing.


The IBM Blockchain


It is no secret that Blockchain can help build a more efficient, enterprise business model. IBM has found a way of bringing technology to the supply chain of the future.  Putting smart to work, IBM explains their Blockchain as: “instrumentation, interconnectedness and intelligence to predict, if not prevent, disruptions before they occur.” 


A next-generation of Blockchain for businesses, the IBM blockchain relies on new approaches that use sensor technologies, new analytic capabilities and simulation approaches to not only sense and respond, but also anticipate and act. 


The ProGlove Wearable Device


Taking a customer-centric design approach, ProGlove has come up with MARK 2. It is a state of the art smart wearable device that connects the human workforce to the IIoT.  Capable of strengthening a companies role in the digitised Industry 4.0, one of the glove’s key features is the ability to be optimised for smartphones, smartwatches and tablets via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE).


The MARK 2  is available in 3 wearable styles- the Standard Glove,  Longlife/Palm Trigger and the Index Trigger. Designed to solve critical retail challenges, the ProGlove wearable scanners will help reduce false picks, decrease time to shipment and track and trace items throughout a process.


The Voxware Voice Technology


Voice recognition (VR) within a wearable device is becoming the norm.   In business, it is growing at a rate that has captured the attention of various industries, including fashion manufacturing. Leading the charge in this space is Voxware. 


Twenty-five years in the business, Voxware’s innovations drive accuracy and efficiency. Voxware’s Voice Management Suite (VMS) will help businesses stay on top of the market and supply chain dynamics.  On what makes them different from their competitors, they say: “Voxware can automate all of the workflows in your DC – from picking, packing and cycle counting to receiving, put-away and more – using the best multimodal technology for the job. No other solution is better at maximising your efficiency, accuracy and profitability.”


The Digital Brain


The future of the supply chain will involve a “brain”, a digital brain that is the integration of machine learning and artificial intelligence. Functioning as a centre point, the digital brain will “self-drive” and make strategic decisions when it comes to production capacity and lowering the material consumption rate.  


When it comes to digital brain’s power Sri Satish Ambati, CEO and Co-founder, H2O.ai believes that every company needs one. “[The] ‘digital brain’ is the nexus for continuous, automated learning from data across all business units, departments, product lines and services, that gives the organisation higher cognition. That’s why every company needs a digital brain to make their digital transformation come alive; else they risk incremental, short-sighted and superficial change.”


With the ability to predict consumer demands,  the digital brain has the power to drive traditional supply chains towards a more connected and highly efficient supply chain ecosystem that can manage to fulfil customer needs across multiple channels proactively.

Written by Muchaneta Kapfunde


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