About this time last year, I predicted the hottest topics in the supply chain world for 2014 would be Big Data, robots, drones, same-day delivery, and M2M. Not bad, I’d say! Now, if I could only do as well with my stock market plays, football bets, and the lottery I’d be in much better financial shape.
Those were pretty easy pickings, in retrospect. The topics were all clearly visible on Gartner’s hype cycle by the end of 2013 and there weren’t many negatives out there to impact them.
The only real question was whether Amazon’s push into drone delivery was a marketing ploy. However, throughout 2014 there was an explosion in the application of drones for myriad purposes, so even if your Christmas parcels aren’t dropped on your doorstep by a drone, chances are drones were involved in weather, farming, law enforcement, and many other processes that affect you. The economics related to same-day delivery are still in question, but the market tests and articles kept coming through the year. Big Data and the Internet of Things (IoT) were all over the news, and the use of robots in supply chains and many other situations continued to be newsworthy.