In our ongoing technologies series, we have concentrated on the Informational and analytical innovation applications which are reshaping digital supply chain technology as we know it. Namely Blockchain technology, IoT, ( The Internet of Things ), supply chain digitization and 3-D printing.
We’ve written a lot about how retail is undergoing some massive changes due to technology, such as augmented reality. The closure of a number of major American chains, as well as Amazon’s recent move into the grocery space with its acquisition of Whole Foods market, signal an industry in flux as it reckons with the ongoing transformations of the eCommerce revolution.
In the last decade, the thinking held that eCommerce might completely supplant brick and mortar retail. It’s easier to shop online than go to a store. Consumers don’t have to deal with lines, limited retail stock, or temper tantrums from kids – kids of their own, or their linemates.
But brick and mortar has shown surprising resilience, and even eCommerce giants are recognizing the appeal of an Omnichannel approach (emphasizing a mixture of brick and mortar and online shopping).
When I started in the distribution space, I was told “…business is simple…cases in, cases out.” Reports were on green bar paper and forklifts were everywhere. As the distribution space evolved, the reports became spreadsheets and forklifts remained very important as they are coupled with the latest and greatest automation.
Supply chain improvements over the last 15 years have been incremental at best. The advances we are making in the supply chain powered by Augmented Reality (AR) are going to be wildly disruptive. The supply chain community that leans into AR and gets it right will come out the clear winners for every perspective: simplicity, safety, quality and productivity.