Survey Uncovers Supply Chains’ Most Disruptive Technologies

The yearly Future of Supply Chain survey from SCM World has just been released, and its 1,415 respondents have overwhelmingly indicated that digitization is growing in importance. Here is a look at some of the most influential trends that are currently taking supply chain strategy by storm.


When the survey was carried out in 2014, just 8 percent of respondents felt the sharing economy or Uberization approach was potentially disruptive to supply chain strategy. This year, however, 27 percent of respondents believe in it. When broken down into roles, nearly a third of those in logistics and purchasing are fond of the idea.

3D Printing

In a little over two years, the percentage of supply chain execs in the pharmaceutical and health care industry who believe 3D printing is important has risen sixfold. This rise is expected to continue as the technology allows for the highly precise creation of challenging shapes for applications in this field.

Operational Technology

Operational technology such as drones, advanced robotics, and IoT now appears to be catching up with informational technology. By using a combination of these tools, businesses can develop more personalized business models that use less resources and provide higher returns.

Overall, this year’s survey discovered that 81 percent of respondents feel big data analytics is important and relevant to their companies, while 68 percent said the same about the digital supply chain. When it comes to self-guided vehicles and drones, however, opinion was more divided. Thirty-five percent said they were important and disruptive while 23 percent felt they were irrelevant and 42 percent felt that the technology was interesting but its usefulness to their business was not clear.

The number of respondents who felt cloud computing was disruptive and important did increase slightly, but its general flattening indicates it is now mature. While it seems to be enjoying universal acceptance, it is not currently in a growth phase.

This blog post was based off of an article from SCM World. View the original here.