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How Far Off is the Driverless Supply Chain?

by CIN7 Team
As robotics, sensors, drones and other technology continue to develop, enthusiastic futurists foresee a fully driverless supply chain in the next decade.

Will technology remove the human element entirely from supply chain management? With the development of drone deliveries, roboticized warehouses and automated software, it’s not so far-fetched.

On the road to full automation

Granted, this can be an industrial-sized concept. Large enterprises may include complex manufacturing and extensive logistics as part of their supply chain. The idea that all of it can run without human intervention is science fiction at this point. Yet one provocative article speculates that within a decade that may be the case. Technology will turn it into a “self-regulating utility” that requires little human oversight. Right now, that’s not possible for businesses of any size. But the technological foundations are already in place.

Time to mature

The idea that the entire path a product follow to the customer can be automated makes a big assumption about technology. Primarily, it assumes that all technology matures at the same rate. Obviously, that’s not the case. Driverless trucks and sailor-less ocean freighters aren’t there yet. Drones, likewise, face technical and regulatory hurdles. Currently, a lot of automation technology presents a capital barrier that many organization can’t break through just yet. All told, the market for automation needs time to mature, too.

Clear and present data

If the end goal is to give brands a more efficient supply chain, then we’re definitely on our way. Companies now adopt the concept of a virtual control tower. With available back-office technology, businesses gain centralized, real-time, end-to-end visibility to avoid or quickly respond to bottlenecks in inventory flow. In fact, the technology to centralize and automate processes has matured and can be adopted by organizations of any size.

Cin7 and automation

Brands use CIN7 to centralize and automate their inventory processes. Not only does CIN7 provide real-time visibility of every channel and location. It also integrates processes to automate order workflows for faster fulfillment. Click below to learn how CIN7 can help make your brand more efficient.