May 17, 2020

The supply chain technologies that will solidify the digital supply chain in 2018

supply chain digitilisation
supply chain efficiency
Supply Chain Technology
Supply Chain
Adam Robinson, Cerasis
4 min
Technology will only become more important to the supply chain sector in 2018
The type and capabilities of supply chain technology is expanding, and technology will only grow more important in effective supply chain management in...

The type and capabilities of supply chain technology is expanding, and technology will only grow more important in effective supply chain management in 2018.

From the increased demand to data-driven decision-making through the industrial Internet of things (IIoT) to the use of cloud-based technologies, supply chain technology will advance light years in the coming months. Supply chain managers and leaders need to understand which technology trends will be the dominant forces of change and continuous improvement in the coming year.

The IIoT Will Be Standardised

According to Amy Wunderlin of Supply & Demand Chain Executive, the use of the IIoT will continue to disrupt standard procedures. However, the IIoT still contains many roadblocks, such as poor integration, difficulty accessing system data, problems leveraging data through analytics systems and more. In addition, how much data can be collected, processed, handled, stored and analysed will add new demands to the supply chain, such as space for servers, increased use of energy and labour hours to manage data.

Moreover, companies are currently working on developing standard best practices for using the IIoT, which should precede the development of regulatory standards through legislation. If anything, the recent repeal of net neutrality indicates supply chain managers will be forced to re-evaluate use of IIoT technologies and develop strategies to overcome potential setbacks that arise from problems with Internet service providers (ISP).

Blockchain Technology Will Emerge in Greater Detail

According to Greg Kefer, writing for Supply Chain Digital, blockchain technology will be another driving force in supply chain management throughout 2018. Blockchain has the potential to provide 100% visibility into all operations, processes and transactions, but actual deployment within existing supply chain systems is not yet possible.

Regardless, blockchain technology will continue to drive additional engagement between IT vendors and chief information officers (CIO) throughout the coming year. In fact, blockchain technology is expected to permeate up to 33% manufacturers and retailers for its use in product tracking within the next three years, according to Supply Chain Dive.

Blockchain technology does have potential problems: the so-called bubble in the value of cryptocurrency. However, the basic premise behind the technology can help ensure compliance with the drug supply chain security act, the food safety and modernisation act and other regulations.

Supply Chain Visibility Becomes an Independent Technology

Aside from the obvious benefits gained in visibility deriving from blockchain technology, the concept of supply chain visibility will become its own technology in 2018. Instead of an afterthought, supply chain managers will look at visibility from a proactive standpoint. They will develop new systems and processes to gain greater visibility, and this will require the hiring of data scientists as well. The discussion of hiring practices in 2018 is incomplete without touching on the skills gap, so supply chain managers must effectively transform hiring practices to include data scientists and compliance experts that will work together to drive overall compliance within an organisation.

New Devices and Mobile Systems Will Become Integral to Supply Chains

New smart devices are being released every day, from voice-controlled systems to tablets with faster processing capability, and the systems will become integral to supply chain management and operations in the coming year. As explained by Steve Banker of Forbes, smart devices are actually growing smarter, with more companies seeking to use advanced supply chain technologies such as artificial intelligence, mixed reality, machine learning, or augmented reality in existing systems and operations.

Automation within Advanced Supply Chain Technologies Will Increase

More supply chain entities, including third-party logistics providers (3PLs), manufacturers, transportation providers, reverse logistics service providers, and other business-to-business partners will increase focus on use of automated advanced supply chain technologies. Robotics will be the greatest aspect of supply chain functionality to benefit from automation in 2018. Implementing robots increases productivity up to 30%, and offsets labour shortages. Furthermore, the capabilities of robotics are advancing.

Today’s robots continue to have a more human-like ability to grasp objects, enabling more precise motor movements and the ability to do things on a granular level. Furthermore, using robotic systems is no longer only for the super-advanced. They are easier to program and can be adapted to meet different needs. Throughout the remaining year, robotics will continue to replace repetitive movements within supply chains, and when paired with automated technologies, like drones, they will be key to reinventing standard shipping procedures.

Mass Adoption of the Cloud

While considering automation, it is important for supply chain managers to remember the amount of processing power necessary to manage automated technologies. Legacy systems and even systems that were new several years ago may not have the processing power necessary to handle the continuous stream of data going in and out of systems. Therefore, more manufacturers will begin adopting cloud-based technologies. More importantly, the speed of migration from analogue systems to cloud-based systems will increase exponentially, and more than 80% of supply chains are expected to have some portion reside within the cloud by 2020.

Retailers will also play a big role in the investment into cloud-based technologies as they look to improve prove omnichannel execution. Point-of-sale systems, as well as facilities management systems and inventory management, will become unified within the cloud, which will enable faster replenishment and decrease supply chain costs. In turn, this translates into lower price points for consumers and increased company growth.

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Jul 30, 2021

The Ultimate Procurement & Supply Chain Event

3 min
Take a look at our agenda for Procurement & Supply Chain Live, where innovation meets implementation, coming to you live from London

From September 28th-30th, network with C-level executives, gain insight from industry pioneers and walk away with actionable insights that accelerate your career. By the end of the week, we promise you’ll have the skills to solve the world’s most pressing supply chain and procurement challenges. 

The three-day show is an essential deep dive into the industry, with influential speakers sharing insights and strategies from their organisations, group roundtable discussions, and fireside chats. Whether you attend virtually or in person, you’ll strategise how to cope with global disruption, learn from industry leaders, and walk away with tips, tactics, and tangible connections. 


How to Attend


In a COVID-disrupted era, we know that the majority of people would rather avoid travelling for events─why take the risk, right? In response to the continued disruption, BizClik Media Group has decided that Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE will offer the best of both worlds through hybrid accessibility. 

That means you and your peers can attend the event in person or virtually ─ with no disadvantages for people who choose not to make the trip to the Tobacco Dock venue. 




Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE will be held at the Tobacco Dock in London, an industry-leading venue that is renowned for delivering world-class events. For attendees’ peace of mind, the venue is working to the government-endorsed AEV All Secure Framework, alongside mia’s AIM Secure and ‘Good to Go’ accreditation, they will ensure that we achieve a COVID-secure environment to facilitate all of your networking needs. 




Our physical venue is both historic and stunning, but it has no bearing on the information that you and your peers can gain from the event. You can still absorb it all, interact with other attendees, and enjoy the conference experience on your alternative, virtual platform. 

The platform will feature live feeds from all of the stages, as well as virtual networking areas. So, if you want to avoid travel, it’s not a problem! You can still get involved and enjoy the entire experience from the comfort of your own home. 


What’s on the agenda?


With keynote addresses from global leaders, dynamic roundtable discussions, and extensive networking opportunities, Procurement & Supply Chain 2021 will expand your network, deliver insight, and enhance your organisation’s reach. 

Across the three-day event, a number of relevant topics and trends surrounding procurement and supply chain will be discussed. 


  • Tuesday 28 September - Digital supply chain
  • Procurement strategy (11:30 am)
  • Supply chain leaders forum (12:00 pm)
  • Women in supply chain (14:00 pm)
  • Procurement technology (14:30 pm) 
  • Wednesday 29 September - Procurement consulting
  • Sustainability (11:30 am) 
  • Supply chain management (12:00 pm) 
  • Digitalisation (14:00 pm)
  • Risk & Resilience (14:30 pm)
  • Thursday 30 September - APAC sessions (04:00 am)


Influential executives from around the world will give their insights and professional experiences surrounding these topics, allowing you and your company to leave with valuable information. 

The past year has shown how important supply chains are and the importance of managing them correctly. With increasing digitalisation across all industries, you won’t want to miss out on our great speakers and information surrounding this topic. Preparing your company for the future is key, and we are sure you will gain great insights at our three-day event. 

Order now to make the most of our early-bird offer. Ticket prices increase over 50% soon! For tickets and information, head over to our event site.

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