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The supply chain planner of the future

New technologies could revolutionize planning and radically change the role of the supply chain planner. Here is how to prepare your organization.

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Advances in supply chain 4.0 technologies have triggered visions of managers across the globe driving automation to the next level. Take Richard Liu, the founder of the Chinese retail giant JD.com, who described for Forbes his vision for full automation within his company with “no human beings anymore, 100% operated by AI and robots.” This is what we call a true no-touch supply chain.

Some of this is already happening. Technologies that enable automation of the physical flow of goods are currently being widely piloted, including lights-out factories and warehouses, piece picking robots, automatic guided vehicles, early iterations of self-driving trucks and drone delivery. Similarly, ordering processes are also advancing, quickly moving away from fax and phone to the Internet, EDI, personal assistants/chatbots and IoT—automation degrees of more than 90% are possible even in complex B2B environments.

The benefits of automating physical flows are obvious: 24/7 operations, reductions in lead times and errors, consistent processes and real-time optimization on the fly. Many interesting technologies are also coming together to automate information flows and decisionmaking, including Cloud platforms, robotic processes automation (RPA), negotiation bots and artificial intelligence. Accordingly, the outlook for many blue and white
collar jobs has dimmed significantly, at least according to some analysts who predict a future where robots and robotic process automation will replace a significant percentage of today’s routine, repetitive jobs.

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Sorry, but your login has failed. Please recheck your login information and resubmit. If your subscription has expired, renew here.

Advances in supply chain 4.0 technologies have triggered visions of managers across the globe driving automation to the next level. Take Richard Liu, the founder of the Chinese retail giant JD.com, who described for Forbes his vision for full automation within his company with “no human beings anymore, 100% operated by AI and robots.” This is what we call a true no-touch supply chain.

Some of this is already happening. Technologies that enable automation of the physical flow of goods are currently being widely piloted, including lights-out factories and warehouses, piece picking robots, automatic guided vehicles, early iterations of self-driving trucks and drone delivery. Similarly, ordering processes are also advancing, quickly moving away from fax and phone to the Internet, EDI, personal assistants/chatbots and IoT—automation degrees of more than 90% are possible even in complex B2B environments.

The benefits of automating physical flows are obvious: 24/7 operations, reductions in lead times and errors, consistent processes and real-time optimization on the fly. Many interesting technologies are also coming together to automate information flows and decisionmaking, including Cloud platforms, robotic processes automation (RPA), negotiation bots and artificial intelligence. Accordingly, the outlook for many blue and white
collar jobs has dimmed significantly, at least according to some analysts who predict a future where robots and robotic process automation will replace a significant percentage of today's routine, repetitive jobs.

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MR

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