Emerging technology used in supply chain management

Three ways emerging tech is helping the supply chain workforce

January 11, 2017

There are a lot of emerging technologies making an impact across the supply chain. Broadly spanning terms, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0, are helping drive efficiency at the macro level, connecting people and products faster than ever before.

At FedEx Supply Chain, we see technological innovation as a driving force for improving not only the holistic efficiency of the supply chain, but also the overall safety and efficacy of the logistics workforce. In this blog, we discuss three ways that emerging technologies are helping the supply chain workforce.

  1. Improving workplace safety
    Technology isn’t just about helping people do more in less time — it also helps improve safety for employees. Thanks to advances in modern sensing systems, material-handling equipment is being fitted with the same sensory capabilities as autonomous vehicles, helping provide a safety envelope that protects against human operator error. Additionally, wearable technology is providing a means for monitoring wellness details, such as body position, to help guide safe workplace practices.
  2. Enhancing workforce training capabilities
    In an increasingly complex supply chain, individuals carry greater and more diverse responsibilities, ranging from fulfilling orders accurately and quickly to ensuring packaging quality and optimizing process flows. Technologies, such as a new breed of mobile computers, are providing a framework to generate highly visual and intuitive instructions, which can allow for tighter and more efficient workflows and improved accuracy.
  3. Leveraging data for informed decision-making
    With sensors proliferating across the workplace, there is also significantly more data available to help guide informed decision-making. All manner of inputs can now be gathered through sensors — whether it’s location, temperature, lighting conditions, or even the last employee to visit a location. Aggregating and analyzing that data helps provide a greater understanding of what we have done in the past and why. We can then extrapolate that data into the future to project what is needed to drive continuous improvement. Whether it’s predicting future energy costs or the time to complete an order, this information helps supply chain management spend less time reacting to changes and focus more time on proactively preparing for the future.

These are just three of the many ways that emerging technologies are helping the logistics workforce.

Contact us to learn more about how FedEx Supply Chain innovations can help your logistics operations

Author: Clinton Shaffer

Clinton previously worked in communications, where he authored several white papers and case studies for FedEx Supply Chain. He has a diverse background in research, communications and editing for several vertical-based publications, and he now serves as a senior strategy analyst supporting the Technology Solutions group at the company.

Read more by Clinton Shaffer

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