Technological Innovations: Impacts on Supply Chains
36 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2017
Date Written: September 6, 2017
Supply chains have benefitted tremendously from digital and transportation technologies over the years. Advanced IT systems have enhanced inventory and demand visibility, allowed for easy information exchange with customers, and facilitated communications with global partners. Transportation technologies have improved the speed and efficiency necessary to transport goods around the globe. However, dramatic changes in both of these areas are on the horizon. The emergence of new technologies such as 3D printing, virtual reality, driverless transportation, drones, near field communications, and the Internet of Things will force the next big wave of changes in global supply chains. While many of these technologies have been adopted by individual firms, many questions remain concerning how these technologies will drive new supply chain policies, business models, and regulations in the future. To illustrate, while technologies such as driverless transportation and the Internet of Things facilitate supply chain efficiency and transparency, they also increase the risk of compromising data security for all parties involved. In this article, we offer a brief overview of each of these new technologies, and summarize the impact on the supply chain. We intend for this chapter to spur interest and research into not only these technologies and their impact on the supply chain, but also into envisioning the supply chains of the future.
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