What will the digital revolution do to the supply chain?

The world of business has seen quite a few revolutions through the centuries, with pros and cons accompanying each. As a result, the market landscape has been forever changed. Just as leaders took power and fell from grace over the years, technologies gained prominence in manufacturing and production only to be replaced by newer and more efficient machines.

In recent years, it seems that we have amassed more technology, but have not had a revolution pertaining to it. However, many experts are convinced that a digital revolution is underway, without chance of it fizzling away. How exactly will this transition to a total digital market change the way that business is conducted in the supply chain?

Upgrades abounding

If it hasn't been obvious enough, more companies are turning to software solutions to help streamline ordering and procurement services. This not only creates less room for mistakes, such as under- or over-ordering supplies, but gives details of how efficiently products are being moved through the warehouse. As Google's Renee Niemi asserted in her speech for Promat 2015, companies will need to take on the change towards total technology takeover with a few key players to make the transition smooth and effective, noted IndustryWeek. 

Many programs and software will come into play as the digital revolution follows its course, and Niemi recommended that companies ready themselves for the change. By implementing cloud, mobile and applications into their line of work, businesses will stand a chance at surviving the changing climate and emerge on the other side ready to face the next challenges.

Blurring the boundaries

With automated factory floors already a popular sight in certain sectors, the digital revolution and the interconnected system of the Internet of Things won't necessarily be as utterly groundbreaking within manufacturing as it will be to other sectors. However, the supply chain will now undoubtedly undergo some changes as man and machine begin to merge.

DesignNews asserted that productivity in factories where all processes are automated has increased. Many questions are raised with this new information: Are people losing their jobs to machines? Are jobs being created to monitor and service said machines? Are completely automated systems worth the investment?

At this juncture, we are only aware that the manufacturing sector is losing more jobs than any other, noted a separate IndustryWeek article, but the long-term effects of the technology takeover have yet to be seen. The supply chain may not be in peril, but the future may have some unforeseen repercussions due to the revolution in place. 

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