What are the supply chain predictions for 2022? Brandon Black, SVP of Supply Chain, Ivanti, offers some insights on what to expect.
1 Automation will play a critical role in ensuring peak efficiency in the supply chain
Automation in warehouses will remain a top priority for supply chain operators, particularly as personnel/staffing will continue to be a challenge in 2022. As raw materials start to freely flow through the supply chain, it will be critically important that 3PL service providers adopt automation solutions that reduce onboarding time and bring task workers to a state of peak performance quickly.
Warehouse automation comes in many forms, including artificial intelligence, machines, cobots, and robots that assist workers with processes related to inventory planning, asset tracking, order fulfillment, and more. In short, supply chain automation can save a company time and money, while helping public warehouse operators improve efficiency, accuracy, and productivity. I expect we’ll see this technology take warehouse operations to a whole new level in 2022, as automation tools can help fill the worker shortage gap, secure the supply chain, and future-proof businesses in the face of uncertainty.
2 IIoT applications will enable organizations to further modernize their supply chain operations
Today, many organizations lack visibility into where their products or components to build products are located. In 2022, more organizations will turn to IIoT solutions to achieve real-time intelligence into the location of shipment and health of their equipment, enabling them to achieve operational excellence as well as proactively detect and auto-remediate vulnerabilities. Companies across industrial verticals, including transportation and logistics, manufacturing, oil and gas, healthcare, and retail, will further automate their workflows and transform their environments through innovative IIoT applications. IIoT will accelerate supply chain digital transformation with driving value to vehicle fleet management, yard management, remote asset monitoring, location tracking, and intelligent distribution.
3 Asset management will become increasingly important within the four walls of a warehouse
The ongoing global chip shortage has left businesses struggling to get hold of new handheld devices and instead must make use of what they already have. But all too often, businesses don’t have visibility into where those devices are at any one time. If businesses lose or misplace devices, not only is there a cost associated with renewing them, but warehouse staff don’t have the equipment to pick at peak times. With visibility over handheld devices, businesses can understand where the devices are, when was the last time they were seen, and who was the last person to have them. This visibility also provides operational efficiencies to charge devices when they aren’t being used so people can get through the whole shift without having to stop and charge the device.
4 Overcoming the global chip shortage with everyday consumer devices
A global shortage of computer chips is causing huge disruptions and causing organizations to think differently and evaluate what they can do with what they already have. For example, organizations can no longer expect to buy and quickly receive devices whenever they need them. So, they may consider blowing the dust off their old Android and iOS devices, migrating to the latest operating systems, and running operations that way to improve their workflows. In 2022, I think we’ll see more organizations rapidly deploy mission-critical applications on mobile devices to streamline warehouse operations and increase workers’ productivity and accuracy, while also reducing onboarding time.