Can the supply chain be managed without humans?
Automation in non occidental countries?
One barrier to a complete automation might be the difference of technology advancement between the developed, emerging and developing countries and the continuous globalization of supply chains. Although the emerging countries are filling this gap faster, countries such as India, China and Brazil cannot achieve the level of automation of the USA and in developing countries, the focus is certainly on having sustainable in healthcare, education, basic infrastructure and not on automating logistics and warehouse operations.
In the Digital Transformation class with Professor Smith at Heinz College, we discussed how an ordinary computer operated by a human can beat both a powerful computer and a human expert in the chess game. This can be applied to any domain; we are leaning towards a world where we will use powerful computing processes and innovative technologies, but the benefit of using IT can be best harnessed if it is combined with human knowledge and intuition. Though many might disagree, I would argue that the supply chain of the future will still require human interaction.
1 - "Warehouse Robotics." Supply Chain Solutions & Reverse Logistics Leader: GENCO. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Oct. 2013. <http://www.genco.com/distribution/warehouse-robotics.php>.
2 - Bowman, Robert J., SupplyChainBrain February 25, and 2013. "Are Robots Taking Over the Warehouse?." Global Supply Chain, Logistics Management, Technology: SupplyChainBrain. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Oct. 2013. <http://www.supplychainbrain.com/content/blogs/think-tank/blog/article/are-robots-taking-over-the-warehouse/>.
3 - "Nano-Based RFID Tags Could Replace Bar Codes." ScienceDaily. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Oct. 2013.
4 - "Automation Grows, But We Still Need People - Inbound Logistics." Logistics and Supply Chain Articles, News, Tools, and Resources - Inbound Logistics. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Oct. 2013. <http://www.inboundlogistics.com/cms/article/automation-grows-but-we-still-need-people/>