This paper by Dr. Rice and Mr. Cottrill highlights three innovations that have the potential to transform supply chain processes. One can argue that cloud computing and 3D printing are are not fundamentally supply chain innovations as much as innovations from technology and manufacturing areas that have the potential to improve supply chain processes and design.
There is certainly a lot of hype around 3D printing, but the authors observe correctly that the use cases for 3D printing are still limited to limited order or one off manufacturing. Although a large 3D print catalog for service parts is a worthy idea.
The omni-channel/integrated retailing is a supply chain innovation that has the highest potential to transform retailing. Companies that can master omni-channel by leveraging physical retail presence, on-demand logistics/transportation services such as Uber/Lyft and effective placement of inventory will be next generation retail leaders.
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