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A report commissioned by DHL claims that 95% of companies have not yet made the most of the potential of digital technologies to improve their supply chain operations.

The report, put together by the lharrington group LLC, surveyed around 350 supply chain and operations professionals to determine which digital solutions they considered important and in which of these solutions their companies were investing.

73% of respondents reported investment in big data analytics, 73% in cloud-based applications, 54% in the “Internet of Things” (connectivity of physical devices), 51% in blockchain, 46% in machine learning, and 34% in Uber-style sharing economy platforms.

Supply chain digitisation means connectivity and efficiency

Meanwhile, robotics came out on top as the most important physical technology, rated important by 63% of respondents, while automated vehicles (AVs) ranked at 40%, 3D printing at 33%, and augmented reality and drones both at 28%.

Lisa Harrington, president of the lharrington group, stated: ‘There is no doubt that digitization is having an incredible impact on supply chains and operations across the globe. Companies are faced with many options as new products and applications enter the market and gain acceptance in the industry.”

However, she added: “Having a purposeful strategy for supply chain digitization is now essential to assess the new technological landscape and chart a way forward to reap the benefits and stay ahead of the competition.”

DHL echoed this sentiment, citing how the company’s own digitisation strategy has benefited from a clear vision “and a comprehensive portfolio of key technologies to capitalize on”.

Its integration of technologies is concerned with the drive towards efficiency, flexibility and improved customer experience, the company says—for example, using augmented reality alongside picking and handling robots in their warehouses.

(Source: Post & Parcel)

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