Conference Coverage: 2018 MHI Annual Industry Report - Overcoming Barriers to NextGen Supply Chain Innovation

The MHI 2018 Annual Industry Report was officially released  Wednesday morning at MODEX 2018. This report details the trends and technologies that are transforming supply chains so we can better understand the critical shift toward next-generation (NextGen) digital supply chains – and the real-world impact of 11 key innovations on supply chain operations and strategies.

Scott Sopher, the principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP's Supply Chain practice, joined George W. Prest, CEO of MHI, in presenting the findings and moderating a panel of manufacturing and supply chain leaders on the report's findings. They were joined by a panel of manufacturing and supply chain professionals to discuss the real-world significance of the report findings.
Panelists included: 
-- Luca Bertuccelli, Chief Technology Officer, Sensitech
-- Randy Bradley, Assistant Professor of Information Systems and Supply Chain Management, University of Tennessee 
-- Kevin Condon, Director Engineering & Network Strategy, Kroger 
-- Annette Danek-Akey, SVP in Supply Chain, Penguin Random House 
-- Barbara Ivanov, Chief Operating Officer and Director, University of Washington Urban Freight Lab 
-- Jay Kim, Chief Strategy Officer, Upskill 
-- Khwaja Shaik, IBM Thought Leader, IBM Academy of Technology 
-- Michael Tidwell, Infrastructure Engineer, Tierion 
-- Kevin Vliet, VP Supply Chain Engineering, Automation and Design, Target 
-- Nick Vyas, Assistant Professor of Clinical Data Sciences and Operations, University of Southern California 

Key Findings Include:
1) Eleven technologies are working together to create next-generation supply chains that are digital, on-demand and always-on. Eight out of ten survey respondents believe these supply chains will be the predominant model within just 5 years. 
2) The top technologies respondents say can be a source of either disruption or competitive advantage are:
• Robotics and automation (65 percent, up from 61 percent in 2017)
• Predictive analytics (62 percent, up from 57 percent in 2017) 
• The Internet-of-Things (IoT) (59 percent, up from 55 percent in 2017) 
• Artificial Intelligence (53 percent, new category in 2018)
• Driverless vehicles & drones (52 percent, up from 30 percent in 2015)
3) The top three barriers to adoption of these technologies are:
• Making the business case for NextGen supply chain investments
• Tackling the supply chain skills gap and workforce shortage
• Building trust and security in digital, always-on supply chains 
4) When it comes to cybersecurity, the sophistication of hackers and "threat actors" is the biggest risk (44 percent), followed by the lack of awareness of the threat within the organization (40 percent) and poor cybersecurity practices among suppliers (37 percent). As cybersecurity concerns grow, the demand for transparency at every level of the supply chain is skyrocketing as consumers increasingly expect full information about the origin and history of the products they consume. 
Blockchain’s unparalleled ability to enable transparent yet controlled data sharing in a way that is extremely reliable, efficient, and highly-encrypted provides a powerful and robust platform to tackle some of today’s toughest supply chain challenges, while also providing an unmatched level of cybersecurity. This is where blockchain can be a huge supply chain differentiator. 

The findings in this report are based on survey responses from 1,100 manufacturing and supply chain industry leaders from a wide range of industries. Half of respondents hold executive-level positions such as CEO, vice president, general manager or department head.  Participating companies range in size from small to large, with 47 percent reporting annual sales in excess of $100 million, and 10 percent reporting annual sales of $10 billion or more.
Download report.