As 2019 draws to a close, we can begin to look back on the past year and identify some industry trends. Here are some of the top supply chain innovations of the past year.
Robotics is the most innovative sector of the supply chain industry because there are no limits to what they can do. Robotics are becoming more integrated into the workforce, and studies have shown the labor force is more knowledgeable about working with their robotic counterparts. Almost every process in a company’s supply chain can be improved using a form of robotics and, as they become more prevalent, they will only become more affordable. If you would like to learn more about implementing robotics into your supply chain read more about RMH Systems’ in-house robotics team.
Drones will become more popular as rules and regulations loosen on them. UPS was the first company to obtain Part 135 Standard certification from the Federal Aviation Administration, which allows them to ‘fly an unlimited amount of drones with an unlimited amount of remote operators in command’. Drone delivery has a host of positives tied to it such as faster delivery times, less manual labor, and less impact on the environment. There are hurdles to get over before drones become more common, but 2019 was a big step forward for the industry and that momentum will carry over into 2020.
Sustainability is a big trend in almost every industry and manufacturing is no exception. Companies are setting more money aside each year for sustainability efforts in their manufacturing processes. Automation has presented itself as one way that companies can cut down on waste. Take a packaging line, for example. Automating this line will cut down on the amount of excess plastic wrap and other packaging material used to package goods. If you are looking to make your company more sustainable through automation read more about how RMH Systems can help.
Blockchain is the biggest buzzword of 2019 but deservedly so. The age-old question in the supply chain industry is ‘where is my package?’ and that is what Blockchain is looking to answer. The Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA) Standards Council Board approved its first official standard: the BiTA Standard 120-2019 Location Component Specification. This standard is the first step in integrating Blockchain into the supply chain industry by providing the initial framework of an all-encompassing data set. This data set would stretch across many different enterprises, systems, and protocols.
Companies are becoming more informed on how strenuous certain actions are on their employees. Actions like picking up heavy boxes, bending down and picking up large objects and reaching up to grab materials in high places have been shown to take a toll on workers. Actions like these can lead to worker injury, which leads to labor shortages and higher turnaround in your company. Ergonomics are making those processes easier for workers. Products like lift tables, conveyors, and roller tables can make strenuous jobs easier and less impactful on workers. If you want to learn more about how ergonomics can help your company reach out to one of our ergonomics experts here.
2019 brought a lot of innovation into the supply chain industry. If you want to read more about other innovations in the industry, check out this blog by Material Handling & Logistics. What innovations do you think will present themselves in 2020? Did we miss any 2019 innovations? We want to hear from you, comment below!