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The Biggest Manufacturing Industry Trends Heading Into 2024


The Biggest Manufacturing Industry Trends Heading Into 2024

It’s been nearly thirty years since two Northwestern University professors unveiled the first cobot – a groundbreaking industrial robot engineered to collaborate safely with humans in the same workspace.

At the time, many brushed it off as a mere novelty, perhaps a glimpse into a distant future. Yet, here we are, on the cusp of 2024, and cobots, along with other cutting-edge manufacturing innovations, are no longer just future concepts – they’re defining our present.

As we gear up for another year, the excitement around the trends shaping our industry is bubbling. Let’s dive into what’s hot and uncover ways you can harness these changes for a prosperous year ahead!

Embracing Sustainable Manufacturing

Our planet’s health is at a critical juncture. And the stats are jarring: industries account for nearly 28% of all greenhouse gas emissions. But there’s hope. Many companies are slashing their emissions by optimizing their energy use and turning to renewable sources.

Eco-Friendly Materials on the Rise

Gone are the days of single-use plastics reigning supreme. Biodegradable, recyclable, and sustainably sourced materials are all showing an uptick in interest. By 2029, the sustainable plastic packaging market is expected to hit $137 billion.

Recycling Isn’t Just an Afterthought

Recycling is becoming a core part of the manufacturing process. Innovations in recycling technology mean that waste isn’t just reduced but repurposed. In fact, some top manufacturing companies right now are producing more with recycled materials than with new ones.

Pro Tips for Manufacturers

  • Reevaluate your supply chain.
    Where can you source more sustainable materials?
  • Rethink packaging.
    Can it be reduced, reused, or recycled?
  • Invest in green tech.
    Consider upgrades that lower energy consumption or tap into renewable energy sources.

The shift toward sustainability is more than a feel-good move – it’s smart business. Companies that embrace these changes are future-proofing their operations and building trust with a new generation of consumers ready to reward their eco-efforts.

The Promise of Smart Manufacturing

Integrating tech like IoT, AI, and big data at the core of every manufacturing process completely revolutionized the ways we produce.

Machines That Think and Predict

With machine learning and AI, equipment can predict when it might fail or require maintenance.

The Internet of Things (IoT) sector has also stretched beyond smart home gadgets. It’s making manufacturing floors hum with synced devices, real-time data sharing, and seamless operations.

These innovations can be a game-changer when it comes to reducing downtime dips and increasing productivity.

Big Data, Bigger Insights

Think of data as the goldmine of the 21st century. With advanced analytics, manufacturers are uncovering patterns, predicting trends, and making informed decisions like never before.

Surprisingly, recent studies show that companies utilizing big data are 58% more likely to surpass their revenue targets.

It might sound odd, but look at the recent marketing trends around Vitamin C. The rise in its demand is a result of understanding consumer behavior, predicting interest, and tailoring production to match. That’s smart manufacturing in action.

Pro Tips for Manufacturers

  • Start small.
    Introduce one piece of tech at a time, understand it, and then scale.
  • Train your team.
    Ensure everyone’s on board and understands the benefits.
  • Stay updated.
    The tech landscape changes fast. Keep an ear to the ground and be ready to adapt.

Diving into smart manufacturing might feel like a giant leap, but it’s one that promises great returns. With the right approach, tools, and mindset, there’s no limit to what we can achieve. 

Personalization in Production

With today’s consumers hungry for unique, tailored products, manufacturers are constantly reimagining their processes to offer that touch of personalization.

The challenge is creating products that resonate and speak directly to a consumer’s needs and tastes rather than manufacturing at large.

Customization Pays Off

The numbers don’t lie. Recent surveys suggest that 62% of businesses recognize the advantages of personalization, with most highlighting its potential to help retain existing customers. That’s the result of listening to your audience.

Tech to the Rescue

Thanks to advancements in tech, personalization at scale is already a reality. 3D printing, for instance, allows for rapid prototyping and custom production runs. And the best part is that it’s becoming more affordable by the day.

Pro Tips for Manufacturers

  • Understand your audience.
    Use feedback loops, surveys, and social media to gauge what they truly want.
  • Invest in flexible tech.
    Equipment that can easily shift between tasks is invaluable in a personalized production environment.
  • Collaborate with marketing.
    They’ve got all of the valuable insights on consumer trends. Use it.

Shifting Supply Chain Strategies

With global trade tensions and unexpected disruptions (think pandemics, geopolitical issues, and inflation), there’s a new kid on the block: regional supply chains.

Businesses are now looking closer to home, ensuring quicker responses and reducing transportation emissions. They also believe that new tech and digital transformation are the future of stable supply chains.

On-shoring Gains Momentum

For many businesses, it’s not just about making it closer to home but about making it AT home. On-shoring, or bringing manufacturing back to a company’s home country, is on the rise. The benefits include boosting local employment, tighter quality control, and a significant reduction in shipping times.

Diversifying to Stay Alive

The mantra here is simple: don’t put all your eggs in one basket. By diversifying suppliers and not relying heavily on a single source, companies can better weather unexpected supply shocks. A study showed that having a diversified supply chain can significantly help to bounce back faster from disruptions.

Pro Tips for Manufacturers

  • Audit your current chain.
    Identify vulnerabilities and potential choke points.
  • Foster strong relationships.
    Build partnerships with suppliers, ensuring mutual growth and stability.
  • Embrace technology.
    Tools like AI can help predict supply chain disruptions and suggest alternative strategies in real time.

Navigating the complexities of modern supply chains might seem daunting, but with a proactive approach and a keen eye on the future, we can create systems that are efficient and resilient.

The Push Towards Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) Models

There’s a shift afoot in the manufacturing world. No longer happy to stay behind the scenes, many manufacturers are making a direct connection with the end consumer. This move towards D2C models is redefining how goods are produced, marketed, and sold.

By connecting directly with consumers, manufacturers can gather firsthand feedback, refine products, and tailor offerings more accurately. The direct link leads to increased brand loyalty and trust.

Ecommerce and Digital Platforms Lead the Way

With the rise of online shopping, manufacturers have a golden opportunity to set up digital storefronts. These platforms allow for instant feedback, dynamic pricing, and a chance to tell the brand story directly.

Streamlined Supply Chains

The D2C model cuts out middlemen, resulting in a more streamlined and efficient supply chain. This often translates to cost savings, faster delivery times, and fresher products for consumers.

Pro Tips for Manufacturers

  • Develop a strong online presence.
    This includes an easy-to-navigate ecommerce platform and active social media engagement.
  • Understand your consumer.
    Utilize analytics and data to tailor offerings and marketing strategies.
  • Prioritize customer service.
    Direct engagement means direct feedback, both good and bad. Be ready to address concerns and enhance the consumer experience.

By embracing this model, manufacturers can forge stronger ties with consumers, innovate faster, and stake their claim in the retail landscape.

Embracing Workforce Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity is the lifeline of modern businesses, manufacturing included. By welcoming a myriad of perspectives, experiences, and talents, companies enrich their work culture and sharpen their competitive edge.

Diverse teams have proven to be more innovative, adaptable, and resilient. It’s not just about optics; it’s about results. Companies with diverse leadership show a 19% higher revenue due to innovation compared to their less diverse counterparts.

Inclusion Goes Beyond Hiring

Sure, recruiting a diverse workforce is crucial. But that’s just the starting point. Creating an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued, heard, and empowered is the real goal.

Challenges in Manufacturing

While strides have been made, the manufacturing sector still grapples with representation issues, especially concerning women and minorities. But the tide is turning, with more companies championing diversity initiatives than ever before.

Pro Tips for Manufacturers

  • Revisit recruitment strategies.
    Consider blind hiring or partnerships with organizations that promote diversity.
  • Continuous education.
    Host workshops, training sessions, and discussions to build awareness and understanding.
  • Celebrate diversity.
    Recognize different cultures, backgrounds, and experiences within your team.

The path to true diversity and inclusion isn’t without its challenges. But with commitment, openness, and the right strategies, manufacturers can shape a work environment where everyone thrives.

Final Thoughts

As we usher in 2024, change is the only constant in the vibrant manufacturing landscape.

But amid these modern shifts, one thing remains certain: manufacturers who adapt, innovate, and directly engage with the evolving demands will not only survive but thrive.

So, let’s embrace these trends, foster a spirit of inclusivity, and redefine our industry’s future.


GreyOrange Named the Leading Global Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) Vendor in 2023  SPARK Matrix™ Analysis

Quadrant Knowledge Solutions recognizes GreyOrange as industry leader for its warehouse fleet management platform and robots

GreyOrange Inc., a global leader in automated robotic fulfillment and inventory optimization software, today announced it is recognized as the  2023 Customer Impact Technology Leader by Quadrant Knowledge Solutions in the SPARK Matrix™: Autonomous Mobile Robots 2023 report. The global market study provides competitive analysis and ranking of the leading technology vendors, provider capabilities, competitive differentiation, and market position.

In his analysis of GreyOrange and the global AMR market, Kumar Anand, Analyst, Quadrant Knowledge Solutions, reported, “The company strives to stay at the forefront of technological developments by aligning its operations with the evolving needs of its customers, GreyOrange has firmly established itself as a pioneer in this rapidly evolving industry”.

Anand further emphasizes that GreyOrange’s robust product portfolio and its initiative to combine artificial intelligence, machine learning (AI/ML) and robotics help organizations optimize their operations and meet pressing fulfillment needs.

GreyOrange has redefined efficiency and productivity in warehouse automation through its state-of-the-art GreyMatter™ fulfillment orchestration platform, which includes a command center that displays real-time performance metrics that are essential for making informed and dynamic decisions.

The SPARK Matrix™ report includes several highlights regarding technology leadership by GreyOrange to combine AI/ML in GreyMatter™ and Ranger™ Robot Series to lead the fulfillment automation industry:

  • GreyOrange provides a dynamic master framework that is capable of integrating with and handling the Ranger Robots and GreyMatter software to deliver agility, accuracy, and ideal workflows for efficient fulfillment outcomes.
  • The GreyMatter fulfillment orchestration platform uses real-time and predictive data to collaboratively orchestrate how and when orders are filled by people, the company’s AMRs and other companies’ robots and automation agents that have been certified to the Ranger-standard of performance and pre-integrated with GreyMatter.
  • GreyOrange is expanding its Ranger robotics portfolio to include hardware produced by other companies, certifying the standard of performance and ensuring that the bots pre-integrate with GreyMatter as part of its Certified Ranger Network.

Click here to download the full report.

GreyMatter assigns work to leading vendors such as Mushiny Intelligence, Technica International, Vicarious and Youi Robotics. The multiagent orchestration platform controls HAI Robotics and Fetch Robotics (now Zebra), hardware vendors, both evaluated as ‘Strong Contenders’ in the 2023 SPARK Matrix.

Click here to download the SPARK Matrix™: Autonomous Mobile Robots, 2023 report, compliments of GreyOrange.

robots netlogistik

Electric Vehicle Demand Is Revving Up in Logistics and Robots are Here to Help

EV adoption is on the rise in the logistics industry and manufacturers are meeting that demand with help from robotics. Logistics companies that adopt EVs can reduce their emissions and save money on fuel and maintenance costs. Robots help manufacturers provide these new vehicles by resolving labor shortages, reducing waste, minimizing production costs and more. 

Rising Demand for EVs in Logistics

Demand for EVs in logistics is on the rise due to several factors. Over recent years, EV technology has seen many innovations, improving performance and affordability. EV adoption in the U.S. was 27 times higher in 2021 than in 2011. While logistics vehicles lag behind consumer EVs, a rising tide of innovation is still underway.

For example, leading logistics companies have announced a switch to EVs over the past few years. The USPS announced a plan to deploy over 60,000 electric delivery vehicles by 2028. Amazon’s electric delivery vans began hitting the streets in mid-2022 alongside EV fleets from FedEx and UPS.

Over the past few years, EV technology has reached a tipping point where it is both functional and relatively inexpensive. Public awareness about fuel emissions is also on the rise, which is strengthening investment and adoption. Logistics companies can improve their ESG performance by adopting EVs.

Benefits of EVs for the Logistics Industry

Why is demand for EVs in logistics increasing? The logistics industry relies heavily on efficient fleets that are low-cost and high-performance. Today’s EV technology is well-positioned to meet those needs. There are also valuable financial benefits to adopting EVs. 

For example, the U.S. federal government offers a growing number of tax credits and incentives to promote electric vehicles. Logistics companies can use these programs to save money and make EV investments more affordable. Businesses can also save money through the lower cost of charging compared to gas or diesel fuel. 

EVs are ideal for logistics applications since they are quiet and reduce urban pollution. Logistics often requires moving goods through residential areas and cities, where noise and air pollution are already high. Switching to EVs helps logistics companies do their part to resolve these issues. 

The Role of Robots in EV Production

Mass logistics EV adoption relies on a strong EV manufacturing industry. Robots are helping manufacturers meet demand while keeping costs and waste low. They are crucial to ensuring success for the future of logistics EVs. 

Improved Manufacturing Safety

Robots are ideal for electric vehicle manufacturing because they allow manufacturers to make more out of less. Research shows the manufacturing industry will be short over 2 million employees by 2030. As a result, manufacturers are attempting to meet rising EV demand with smaller teams of employees. 

Robots can fill those labor shortage gaps by automating repetitive, time-consuming tasks. Integrating robots in EV manufacturing also improves employee safety by reducing physical risks. Employees can switch to less strenuous roles while robots automate physically-demanding tasks like moving heavy parts. 

Collaborative robots, or cobots, are particularly effective for EV manufacturing. Engineers design these robots to work alongside humans. As a result, they improve workplace safety, productivity and resilience. EV manufacturers can blend the talents of both humans and robots by adopting human-friendly cobots.

Waste and Cost Reduction

Minimizing waste in EV manufacturing is an integral part of meeting the environmental goals engineers design electric vehicles to support. Robots can reduce production waste as much as possible through high efficiency and accuracy. This saves supplies, resources, time and money. 

Robots can perform the same task countless times without diminishing returns or significant variety. As a result, robots can deliver more consistent quality than humans. Employees will naturally get tired, fatigued and distracted on the job occasionally. In repetitive manual tasks, this can cause higher defect rates resulting in wasted materials. 

EV manufacturing can also benefit from the high level of precision robots offer. EVs require carefully assembled battery units and electronics which are often the most expensive part of the vehicle. Applying robots to battery assembly ensures the highest level of precision and consistent quality. It also minimizes the likelihood of production errors or defects wasting costly materials. 

Challenges Facing EVs in Logistics

What challenges is logistics EV adoption facing today? The EV market has a few main road bumps, particularly infrastructure and the initial investment cost. These challenges may be resolved with further innovation and development over the next few years, including help from robotics. 

Charging Infrastructure

Few things are hindering EV adoption like charging infrastructure. Surveys show that 47% of Americans are unlikely to purchase an EV, with 77% citing charger availability as a major or minor concern.

Charging infrastructure remains more complicated and less accessible than conventional gas stations. Different vehicle manufacturers may use different types of chargers. Charging stations vary significantly in the charging time and power they can provide. Refilling a gas tank is also drastically faster than leaving an EV to charge for hours. 

If EVs in logistics are going to reach their full potential, charging infrastructure will require significant innovation. Larger-capacity batteries may help but can also result in longer charging times. Heat management also creates a ceiling on how fast drivers can safely recharge EV batteries. 

Robots can help manufacturers produce more EV charging equipment with less money and resources. This will help grow the charging network and keep charger installation and operation affordable for everyone, including logistics vehicles. 


Despite progress over recent years, affordability remains a challenge for EVs. The high initial investment cost can make it particularly difficult to get logistics companies and other businesses on board. Even if EVs are cheaper to own over time, the initial purchase price remains higher than gas or diesel-powered vehicles. 

Integrating robots in the EV manufacturing process can minimize production costs and bring down the purchase price of electric vehicles. Further innovation in EV design will also result in more affordable, efficient vehicles down the road. 

Batteries vs. Hydrogen Electric

EVs in logistics specifically are facing an interesting debate — are batteries or hydrogen fuel better for electric vehicles? Usually, people think of battery electric vehicles, or BEVs, when they hear about EVs. However, batteries aren’t the only power source available today. They might not be the best option for logistics applications, either. 

Hydrogen fuel cells are gaining popularity for electrifying the fleet industry, providing a cost-effective alternative to batteries for larger vehicles. Hydrogen fuel cells are great for vehicles like vans and trucks since they don’t require large, expensive battery packs or lengthy charging times. Instead, drivers simply refuel the vehicle with hydrogen fuel like at a gas or diesel station. Hydrogen electric vehicles may be the perfect solution for the logistics industry, providing clean transportation without the drawbacks of charging complications. 

The Future of EVs in Logistics

Electric vehicles are the future of transportation in every industry, including logistics. Robots are helping EV manufacturers resolve labor shortages, improve productivity, lower costs, reduce waste and improve employee safety. Over the coming years, manufacturing robots will support the growth of logistics EV adoption as the industry works to overcome a few remaining electrification challenges.


technology arrivenow labor industrial

Smart Robots Empower Warehouse Teams During Labor Shortage

AI-Powered GreyOrange robots help reduce human workforce walk rates, tedious tasks and turnover rate

Robots continue helping humans with everything from leisure to work activities – from playing music and delivering food to picking and packing inventory in distribution centers. As growing labor shortages, volatile lead times, global supply chain challenges and rising costs create ripple effects in global commerce, robotic automation has become the go-to solution for omnichannel fulfillment. With a 49% turnover rate in 2021, labor shortages are at a record high and are projected to grow long-term.

Robotic automation mitigates labor shortage challenges while improving the work environment for fulfillment associates as robots take on repetitive tasks and allow smart management teams to implement upskilling programs that support employee satisfaction and retention. GreyOrange’s fulfillment platform equips retailers to fulfill high volume ecommerce orders seven times faster and with 50% less physical effort.

Among the latest technology created to help mitigate the labor shortage spurred from a new partnership and solution that solves for inefficiencies and safety challenges in truck loading and unloading by combining Technica International’s iTLS technology with GreyOrange’s fulfillment orchestration platform, GreyMatter™.

Technica’s unique and innovative robotic truck loading and unloading solution iTLS improves dock efficiency and speed by leveraging GreyMatter™, a robot agnostic fulfillment orchestration platform with seamless integration, to orchestrate robots through the activity, enabling workers to focus on higher value tasks. Supply chain and logistics leaders now have another avenue to meet global challenges, including the current labor shortage, as cooperative robotic-human solutions are increasingly recognized by both workers and leaders as essential tools for supporting the workforce.

According to the Essential Warehouse Workers Briefing Book, most warehouse laborers work 12 hour shifts and walk between 15 and 20 miles per day, therefore demonstrating the need to preserve the human body with robots. With the right software and robots, physically demanding warehouse jobs are reimagined, with the intent to slow increasing warehouse attrition rates.


The Implications of Reliable Robotics’ Autonomous Aircraft for the Global Supply Chain

Autonomous vehicles — especially driverless transportation fleets — have the potential to change logistics tremendously, but not without posing some risks. Even the most intelligent driverless system could run into issues on the open road, especially considering the human element is still a factor. But what happens if logistics professionals and fleet owners take the road out of the equation? Better yet, what happens when autonomous vehicles take flight?

That is precisely why Reliable Robotics has been making headlines in recent years. In addition to being awarded a U.S. Air Force contract, it also received acceptance from the Federal Aviation Administration for certification of its autonomous aircraft navigation system. The platform will help control and pilot autonomous fixed-wing aircraft across several industries, enabling remote piloting.

The system helps maintain situational awareness around the craft and can adjust the flight plan, all from remote devices like an iPad. Command, control, voice and data links are all available remotely, too. Operators can communicate with air traffic controllers, for example, just as a traditional pilot would be able to.

As impressive as the technology is, the pressing question is what this will mean for the global supply chain. How long will it be until people see autonomous aircraft used in the real world? How will this change the industry for better or worse?

The History of Flight

Since the first heavier-than-air, machine-powered flight happened on December 17, 1903, the airplane has played a massive role in transportation, logistics and supply chain. The first commercial air freight test took place years later on November 7, 1910, carrying two bolts of silk from Dayton to Columbus, Ohio.

The silk weighed approximately 200 pounds, but the trip was not just a quick drop-off — it was actually a race against an express train. Completing the flight in 57 minutes officially, it was a world speed record at the time and the rest is history.

Airplanes and aircraft have been used ever since to transport mail and parcels, goods, people and even vehicles and military equipment. That said, real people have always piloted and operated freight aircraft. Although modern systems make flight more automated and handle a lot of the nuanced controls, there are still generally pilots at the yoke.

If successful — and efforts are proving to be so — Reliable Robotics’ autonomous aircraft system will change all of that as citizens and professionals know it. Commercial and freight aircraft may soon be piloted almost entirely by computer and AI-based solutions.

More Flights Than Ever Before

One of the significant implications of autonomous aircraft is more time spent in the air with faster and more accurate trips. Human pilots grow tired and weary, need breaks and must see their families. So, flights have always had to be scheduled based on their availability up until now.

It’s not unlike long-haul trucking, where the drivers face many health risks, spend long and lonely days on the road and so on. It also means flights cannot operate indefinitely, provided there’s fuel available. Commercial and freight craft always have to come back down to the ground for extended periods until the pilots can get back into the cockpit.

Autonomous controls can be piloted remotely, meaning those flights can remain in the air for longer. When they do have to land — for fuel, for example — it can be done fast and without delays. This benefit will extend to commercial supply lines as goods can be transported faster, more frequently and more reliably.

Decreased Overhead

In addition to the costs of training and compensating pilots, the planes themselves will see efficiency improvements thanks to the automated systems. Similar to how travel routes on the ground can affect fuel consumption, maintenance and travel times, so can air paths. The autonomous solutions can be programmed to analyze, discover and follow optimized routes, significantly maximizing value and reducing overhead.

Couple that with the fact that companies no longer need pilots in the cockpit — at least not physically — the remote staff can be offered more convenience like breaks and shift change and the implication that overall costs will be reduced more than ever before. Pilots are one of the most expensive parts of air freight and cargo operations. It’s difficult to stress enough just how much will be saved by autonomous craft.

Better Safety

Some professionals may be undecided on computers and AI solutions empowering in-flight automation. The same is true of automated vehicles back on the ground. However, there’s no denying that an automated system will run better, longer and more efficiently than the average human pilot.

As mentioned previously, pilots grow weary, need breaks and sometimes make mistakes, both naturally and brought on by other events — heavy drinking and substance use, for example. The implication is not that all pilots are dangerous or reckless, but merely that automated aircraft powered by inhuman solutions don’t have the same needs or issues. That by itself warrants better safety and more successful flight in many ways.

When talking about commercial flights, everything has to be on time and efficient. A minor delay can cause considerable hiccups in the chain, so the increased reliability of automation will be a welcome boon. Additionally, there can be an increase in safety and possibly the number of successful flights. Approximately 75% of airplane and commercial flight accidents are due to human error, including pilots, air traffic controllers, mechanics and so on.

However, that’s not to say pilots and drivers will go completely by the wayside. Human intervention is still necessary in many aspects of driving to avoid potentially disastrous complications. But working alongside such advanced technology can improve safety and help ensure fewer significant disruptions to the supply chain occur.

Revisiting the Implications of Autonomous Aircraft

The best part of all this is that Reliable Robotics’ autonomous solutions aren’t just for commercial and freight aircraft. They may soon be used for passenger aircraft, as well, enhancing and improving the entire industry of flight.

Of course, it’s still early days and while the technology is currently being tested heavily, it may be a few years before people see it used by commercial freight companies. When it does come to market, expect to see vastly improved flight operations, better safety for the entire industry and lower associated costs — fuel, maintenance, training, personnel and beyond.


5 Business Innovations Changing Supply Chain Management

Efficient supply chains help businesses to be more competitive in the logistics market. One study shows that 57% of companies have admitted supply chain management gives them an edge over competitors and enables them to develop their business further. With the advent of data analytics and automation, supply chain processes have become more streamlined than ever.

The incorporation of technological solutions such as artificial intelligence, autonomous robots, and RFID is rapidly transforming supply chain processes. With the integration of technology, logistics has become faster and efficient than ever before.

The use of technology in supply chain management has completely changed the structure in which businesses operate.

In this post, I’ll list five key innovations that are transforming the supply chain industry.

Let’s dive right in.

1. Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence

Big Data Analysis and Artificial Intelligence are making a significant impact on Supply Chain Management. Automation in data processing allows supply chain managers to get vast amounts of information in real-time and make smarter decisions based on that information.

Additionally, the internet of things (IoT) devices provide supply chain companies with reliable data on consumer inclinations and logistics trends. The best part about artificial intelligence is that it transforms raw data into actionable information without the need for human interference. According to McKinsey, after incorporating AI into their supply chains most executives reported an increase in revenues, whereas 44% reported a reduction in costs.

IoT is also helping supply chain companies in effective fleet management by automating their day-to-day business operations. For example, devices like ELD solutions allow managers to record driver logs, Hours of Service, browse engine data, and perform vehicle Inspections with a few clicks.

2. Impact of 3D Printing On Global Supply Chain

With advances in 3D printing, companies are manufacturing and delivering products quickly. 3D printing allows manufacturers to produce customized products and spare parts according to the needs of consumers. As manufacturing processes are customized and fastened, supply chains are becoming shorter, and the demand for goods supply is changing.

To stay competitive in the logistics market, supply chain companies are also turning to 3D printing to deliver products quickly. By adopting this technology, manufacturers produce goods closer to consumers, resulting in lower inventory levels, reduced shipping costs, and economical warehousing. According to a survey by Gartner, 65% of global supply chain managers are already using or plan to invest in 3D printing.

3. Autonomous Robots

The use of autonomous robots in supply chain management is improving the speed and accuracy of routine tasks, increasing productivity, and decreasing management costs. The bots are particularly helping in warehousing and manufacturing. Besides increasing efficiency by working side by side with human labor, the bots also reduce the risk of injury in dangerous situations.

Robotic process automation (RPA) helps supply chain managers locate and enhance inefficiencies across the chain. RPA also allows managers to run a smooth operation by responding to queries 24/7 through artificial intelligence.

Some supply chain giants are also investing in autonomous vehicles to cut payroll costs, eradicate the risk of human injury on the road, increase fuel efficiency and reduce vehicle wear and tear. All this ultimately increases Return on Investment (ROI).

4. Use of Logistics Software

Supply chain management companies extensively benefit from logistics software, such as the Transport Management Software, or TMS. TMS offers a digital platform for supply chain managers to optimize fleet operations by efficiently tracking inventory and materials across the supply chain in real-time.

In traditional supply chain management, fleet tracking was a time-consuming manual task with a high chance of error. Logistics software systems have automated warehousing and inventory tracking. This ultimately improves accuracy and minimizes operating costs while ensuring transparency between the businesses and the consumer market.

5. Radio Frequency Identification

Like most other businesses, Radio Frequency Identification or RFID is contributing effectively to supply chain operations. RFID is a wireless technology that uses radio signals to tag objects. These tags look like barcodes and are used to automatically identify, follow and trace goods in real-time without human intervention. This significantly improves data accuracy and traceability throughout supply chains.

The RFID technology offers several supply chain benefits, including efficient material handling, enhanced asset management, and improved merchandise availability. It is particularly beneficial in managing supply disruptions by reducing workload and eliminating human errors.

Final Word!

Technology, especially automation, is transforming every industry around the globe. Technological advancements are making a significant impact on logistics and supply chain management as well. With these innovations already in use by the industry giants, it is high time that small businesses also integrate them into their supply chain processes to ensure lasting success in the industry.


Craig Stobbie is the Director at Endura Private Wealth. With over 12 years’ experience in the industry, both in Australia and in the UK, and holding the internationally recognised Certified Financial Planner™ designation, the highest qualification within the Financial Planning Association of Australia, he specializes in helping people with transition to Retirement planning, Superannuation, Investments and meeting their Insurance needs.