Robotics in the Supply Chain

The employment report released this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics may add to the concern that supply chain professionals will be replaced by automation in the future.

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The employment report released this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics may add to the concern that supply chain professionals will be replaced by automation in the future.

According to Ken Cotrill, a writer with the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics (MIT CTL), that day may be closer than we think.

He notes that robots have been an integral part of the industrial landscape for many years. Advances in the technology are now making these units more flexible and versatile. The upshot from a supply chain perspective is that the new generation of factory robots makes production systems more agile and helps companies to compete in fast-changing markets.

This article appears in the Winter 2014 issue of Supply Chain Frontiers, the newsletter of the MIT Global SCALE Network.

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About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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