„Digitalization will enhance the supply chain and will work with human labour”
Andries Retief, Head of Operations Excellence for Central & Eastern Europe, DHL Supply Chain will be “Logistics & Production. Future 2 to 5”meeting guest. We have asked him about supply chain future.
The world is entering a period known as the fourth industrial revolution. The first symbol was steam, the second – electricity, the third – automatic. The fourth industrial revolution is based on digitization. How will the supply chain and product offer change in that case?
As consumer demand for higher customization and lower cost increases, the pressure on supply chains to offer faster response times in an environmentally-responsible manner will increase. This will lead to more decentralization to reduce lead times and an increase the involvement of the consumer during the manufacturing and logistics process which will require improved visibility and transparency. The pressure on supply chains to be more agile will be higher than ever and the use of fourth industrial technologies such as Internet of Things, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence will be crucial to relevance and sustainability.
Will digitalization be able to optimize the entire supply chain?
Digitalization will enhance the supply chain and will work with human labour to further optimize the supply chain. Existing supply chains are already stretched, optimized and integrated to a high degree. Using current and new technologies will enhance and extend the boundaries of what human labour is capable of, thereby enabling a new era of optimization and improvement.
There is a lot of talk about the Internet of Things lately. Is it still a novelty, or is there a requirement in supply chains?
Internet of Things will provide supply chains with much needed visibility and transparency of product and data flows. This transparency is key to transforming supply chains to be fully end-to-end and integrated. It is thus still a key contributor to the success of supply chains in the fourth industrial revolution and investment in this technology should assist organisations to remain relevant and competitive.
Logistics services in the digital economy are constantly changing. Without which solutions, you will not be able to imagine the industry in 2 or 5 years?
In order to stay relevant during changing times, the need for predictive analysis to anticipate customer and consumer demands will be crucial. Using technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence will play a pivotal role in providing this information. Technologies such as Enterprise Wearables and 3D manufacturing will enable the industry to respond to these customer demands in a fast and efficient way.