U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics
The U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics was released last week. The 67-page report and action plan was developed in an 18-month-long process. Its content is based on input from more than 100 thought leaders, including material handling and logistics practitioners, suppliers, academia, associations and government. The Roadmap was designed to help the industry determine how logistics and supply chain trends and challenges can be turned into action plans to develop needed capabilities in the U.S. between now and 2025.
The Roadmap identifies 10 major trends in the economy, technology and society that will shape the future of the industry:
–The growth of e-commerce
–Mobile and wearable computing
–Robotics and automation
–Sensors and the Internet of Things
–Big Data and predictive analytics
–The changing workforce
From these trends, a number of important themes emerged:
People, people, people: The industry already faces a workforce challenge, both with respect to finding good workers and training them. Absent a purposeful, coordinated effort in the future, these problems will only get worse. The industry cannot continue to grow without engineers to engineer, managers to manage, and workers to work.
Collaboration: It was widely believed that significant levels of collaboration in the industry could lead to breakthrough reductions in the cost and environmental impact of logistics. The report identifies number of promising areas.
Sensors, data and algorithms: The challenge for the material handling and logistics industry is to harness these technological capabilities—most of which are occurring outside the industry itself—and use them to the greatest advantage. The Roadmap makes several recommendations in this regard, including real-time optimization of distribution systems, cloud-based data from ubiquitous sensors, and sharing protocols to protect sensitive data.
New methods of distribution: The Roadmap describes these new methods and their implications for the industry, including emerging distribution models based on crowd-sourcing and delivery to mobile customers.
Coordinating the development, writing and review process was Roadmap editor Kevin Gue, Tim Cook Associate Professor of Industrial Engineering at Auburn University’s Samuel Ginn College of Engineering.
“The Roadmap represents the ‘collective mind,’ as it were, of the entire industry—from end users to suppliers to academics to associations and government,” says Gue, who hopes the publication leads to collaborative solutions that address big problems.
“Many of the issues described in the Roadmap will be addressed by individual companies in response to market forces and advances in technology. But other problems will require disparate groups to pull in the same direction. Standardization, widespread collaboration, securing a qualified workforce for the future—these issues will require stakeholders to work together in new ways,” he explains.
Click here to view the learn more and download the complete report.
MODEX 2014 Seminar To Feature U.S. Material Handling & Logistics Roadmap
The MODEX seminar titled Material Handling & Logistics: The Road to 2025 will be held on March 18 at 12:45 AM. This seminar will provide a visionary look at how the supply chain industry will change between now and 2025. This panel discussion by thought leaders will identify the driving trends and the transformations that are coming. The challenges of future workforce development will be a special focus. Click here to learn more.