Inbound Logistics | January 2022


3G sunset wi l l impact supply chain visibi l i ty. In 2022 , carr iers inc luding AT&T, T-Mobi le/Spr int and Ver i zon wi l l complete thei r 3G sunsets to make way for 5G networks . Once these 3G networks go dark, any devi ce that rel ies on a 3G cel lular connect ion wi l l stop transmi tt ing data. Thi s inc ludes telemat i cs gateways instal led in trucks , tractors , and trai lers , as wel l as the sensor devi ces that communi cate wi th those gateways . Organi zat ions that are st i l l rel iant on 3G devi ces to track, moni tor, and manage thei r supply chains wi l l lose vi s ibi l i ty, to the detr iment of transportat ion ef f i c iency, ongoing asset tracking, and compl iance. Organi zat ions need to start taking proact ive steps to upgrade thei r port fol ios of devi ces to 4G to ensure cont inui ty of data col lect ion and transmi ss ion.

We will see a lot of investments in supply chain technology, especially in articial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) capabilities as a response to labor shortages and supply chain uncertainties. A majority of logistics supply chains will invest in AI by the end of 2022, resulting in massive productivity

gains. As more operations are digitized, ML will be key for demand forecasting applications. ML-enabled demand forecasting has been shown to lessen supply chain errors by up to 50%. Organizations can leverage ML-based demand planning to optimize inventory levels efciently. ML enhances demand forecasting by aggregating real-time information from multiple data points. ML analytics and forecasting also reduces the need for mass historical data as it detects trends from similar products and uses that data to make improved predictions, which allows upgraded performance with every iteration.

Adhish Luitel, Industry Analyst, ABI Research

Businesses wi l l have r ising vendor expectat ions . Companies are start ing to demand more f rom thei r vendors in terms of funct ional i ty, cost-ef fect iveness , and rel iabi l i ty. Supp l y cha i n teams now need too l s that work , use the i r data i n ways that haven ’ t h i stor i ca l l y been done, and prov i de a compet i t i ve advantage. Compan i es are no l onger set t l i ng for c l unky, one-s i ze- f i t s-a l l warehouse and l abor management systems that come wi th cost l y upgrades and don ’ t work the way teams need them to i n the new rea l i t i es of today ’ s bus i ness wor l d .

I predict we will see applications of AI accelerate drastically to avoid another catastrophic domino effect like we are seeing now. Outdated prediction models are a critical aw in capacity planning. Every day we see stories of different links in the chain failing to predict the obvious, given the failure right before them. AI has the unique capability to understand the situation from a more holistic view than any single entity. AI that can understand shopping trends emerging months ahead of time and adjust needs for cargo ships will become a norm.

Al ex Wakef i e l d CEO, Longbow Advantage

James Kaplan CEO, MeetKai

Kinana Hussain Vice President, Product Management, CalAmp

In 2022, expect to see more multi-tenant applications that allow parties to collaborate in real time and give stakeholders visibility and accountability to what’s happening. Blockchain, which has been nothing more than a supply chain buzzword for years, may actually translate to some valuable use cases to address some of the challenges, inefciencies, and black holes that have existed for years but have not been heavily scrutinized until recently.

Standard solution/platform based service level agreements (SLAs) will be replaced by business SLAs. As more enterprises engage additional vendors for technology solutions, they will demand much stricter SLAs than are standard historically. Further, our customers will hold all their vendors to a holistic business-level SLA over individual platform-specic SLAs. Their offering to eventual end customers would be as weak as the weakest provider. I estimate the standard SLA in the B2B world will shrink to 30 minutes or less in 2022, especially for critical business transactions. Meeting a 30-minute SLA is a challenging task—especially for vendors who have hundreds of customers. To meet this shortened SLA demand, more supply chain technology vendors will offer completely self-serviceable products that do not require external support at a moment’s notice. Otherwise, vendors will need to signicantly increase their hiring to meet such short SLA demands.

Corey Bertsch, VP Solutions Consulting,

Vipin Mittal, VP, Customer Experience, Cleo

146 Inbound Logistics • January 2022

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