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Supply chain planning and optimization: Tips for better deployment and implementation
of tools
Among the core competencies that companies must develop in order to successfully navigate the mega-trends identified by the U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics is better deployment and implementation of supply chain planning and optimization tools. The Roadmap devotes nearly three pages to the topic, starting on page 29.

As one of the original 100 contributors to the Roadmap’s development, Ian Hobkirk, Managing Director of Commonwealth Supply Chain Advisors, noted that there’s no shortage of sophisticated data analysis and business intelligence tools on the market.

“There’s a variety of best-of-breed applications out there, and the vendors have gotten better at integrating the different tools, enabling them to interface with each other,” he said.

Many companies have warehouse management systems (WMS) and transportation management systems (TMS) from different suppliers that were implemented separately. Today’s business intelligence tools help to bridge that gap and make it easier to access the data within each system, he explained.

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  Ian Hobkirk, Managing Director of Commonwealth Supply Chain Advisors

Join the Roadmap on LinkedIn: Industry members are encouraged to join the U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics Group on LinkedIn and to follow @MHLRoadmap on Twitter.


Event
March 23, 2015: How to Deal with Disruptors Affecting Your Career
 
The U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics sponsors “How To Deal with Disruptors Affecting Your Career,” an on-show floor educational session at ProMat 2015 on Monday, March 23. The presentation will feature insights from William Ferrell of Clemson University and Kimberly Ellis of Virginia Tech.
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Welcome to the Future

June 12, 2025

Gaithersburg, MD. John Alvarez has been under his classic 1996 silver Corvette for three and a half hours. He’s sweating profusely, but doing what he loves—restoring old cars. His search for the source of a small oil leak is finally over—a leaking right valve cover gasket. “MyEye, stock check.”
  Corvette

“Yes, sir?” responds a small SmartPin clipped to his shirt. “Is there a right valve cover gasket for my Corvette in this town?”

“Checking, sir, please wait…” After confirming the meaning of “valve cover gasket” and “my Corvette” with appropriate databases, SmartPin sends a stock request via wireless connection to a central database for automotive supplies: “Stock check, right valve cover gasket for a 1996 Chevrolet Corvette, 5.7 liter V8, 4-speed, convertible. Near address: 2049 Mockingbird Lane, Gaithersburg, MD.”

“I have found a source, sir. Please check MyEye to confirm.” Still under the car, John shifts his focus to the eyes up display in his right contact lens as it projects photographs and technical details for the part.

“Next page…. Next page. Yes, that’s it. Please order for immediate delivery.”

“On the way, sir.” The order is immediately placed and paid for. Inside the local auto parts store, a 3D printer begins the job. Ten minutes later, it’s done.

The store’s CrowdDeliver system broadcasts a request for delivery to thousands of participating mobile devices. A notification pops up in the car of Jeff Hart, who lives in John’s neighborhood but has never met him. Jeff is on his way back from his daughter’s gymnastics meet, and only two blocks from the auto parts store. He clicks “Got it” and takes a left toward the store.

A clerk greets him at the service window, “Here you go, Mr. Hart. Do you see the address?” “Yep, it came up right there. I’ve been wanting to meet John for some time.”
“Thank you sir, we’ve credited your account.”

Ten minutes later, Jeff pulls into the driveway of John Alvarez, who is still under his Corvette.

“John, I’m Jeff Hart from down the street. Here’s your gasket. Nice car.”

Sound far fetched?

It’s not.

This is the future, as envisioned by the contributors and authors of the U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics. The Roadmap offers a visionary look at how the material handling and logistics industry will change between now and 2025. It identifies both driving trends and the transformations ahead that will make the above scenario a commonplace occurrence.

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