Eric Brown writes for MIT News about how technology stands poised yet again to change supply chains as we know them. Digitization, decentralization, 3D printing, and omni-channel retail will all help in the revolution to take supply chains to a new level, and MIT’s Center of Transportation & Logistics executive director Chris Caplice explains how it will happen.
If You Can Dream It, You Can Build It
The process of digitization has made it so that 3D printing can produce any number of small-scale goods. That means spare parts can be printed on demand to reduce the number of parts that need to be kept in stock. And because digitization makes it so easy to customize, specialization will become more expected by consumers. This will have the effect of shrinking the size of the main manufacturing plant, which will be doing less one-size-fits-all work, and opening up possibilities for plants closer to the consumers.
E-commerce and mobile Internet are ushering in an era of omni-channel retail where the time and place to purchase is always “here and now.” Stores are becoming “advanced warehouses” as the options for where to purchase and receive goods become much more varied. It is necessary to keep up to date with all these emerging trends if you are to stay in the game. For further details, read the original article: http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2014/digitization-decentralization-and-omni-channel-retail-the-future-of-supply-chains.html