Blockchain, the Internet of Things (IoT), data and robotics all promise to "game changes" for the supply chain industry in 2018.
That's according to industry expert, Lisa Anderson, president of LMA Consulting Group Inc, who believes manufacturers and distributors will be focused on automation and leveraging technologies to achieve scalable and profitable growth this year.
"Based on discussions with clients and supply chain professionals, 2018's demand will far outpace the recent past and remind us of Y2K. More reason for businesses to look at their supply chain holistically," Anderson said.
"Robotics, IoT (Internet of Things) and predictive analytics will surge. The strategic use of data is becoming a game changer, and blockchain has vast potential to transform high-value, transaction-intense, global industries," she continued.
The upside is opportunity for those willing to invest with an eye to strategy. "It is, however, creating an even larger skills gap for highly-skilled supply chain resources. Those companies who get ahead of this curve will have a strategic advantage. Yet, the priority remains the same, the customer," she said.