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Localised, Personalised, Automated – Innovative Supply Chain Technologies, Innovative Supply Chain Thinking

The constant onslaught of increased consumer and customer expectations combined with increasing levels of technological innovations is driving changes in the Supply Chain at an unprecedented rate.   In a world still recovering from a series of major disruptive events, from the globalisation of the markets and supply chain through to the worldwide economic recession and a slew of major natural disasters, we now are at the brink of a new tsunami of change through technology that requires new levels of thinking.  The ever-increasing use of new manufacturing techniques such as 3D Printing, coupled with a revolution in automation capabilities through intelligent robotics, and the move to cloud computing and Big Data analytics means that business models are constantly changing and requiring a rethink when it comes to the Supply Chain.  The old certainties are becoming absurdities within months, not decades.

Leading companies are now looking at how they can leverage  these innovations in order  to create competitive advantages through not only improvements in operational efficiencies and cost reduction, but also through a complete re-thinking of the nature and strategies behind their business models, routes to market and Supply Chain design. These new technologies will ultimately change the way products are manufactured and delivered to customers, calling into question the logic behind manufacturing products in countries that offer cheap labour, and instead producing products on a localised basis to help accommodate local demand and reduce time to market.  At the same time the era of mass production is coming to an end, with consumers moving towards a personalised ‘on demand’ supply model, where products are designed and customised for individual needs.     

This ‘demand driven’ dream will become a nightmare for those companies that are unable to adjust their business and management processes to leverage the opportunity, or do not adapt to the use of these technologies quickly enough within their Supply Chain operations – companies that may find themselves left behind and playing to a completely different set of rules to the competition.  Rather than be a panacea to their ills, these innovations may expose their organisational weaknesses – technology is, after all, only an enabler for business strategy and excellent business processes, and not a replacement for them. Any system is only as good as its weakest link – and at 'ISC' UK & IRELAND 2014 we will discuss the different elements that will either enable or prevent businesses from gaining competitive advantage moving forward:  

Now in its third year, 'ISC' UK & IRELAND 2014 will examine how these new technologies and thought processes will affect Supply Chain:

  • Performance
  • Design
  • Visibility
  • Operational Efficiency
  • Culture


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