It’s hard to believe that 2019 is almost over. But what’s even more amazing is to look back at the milestones we’ve reached this year in our ongoing mission to help supply chains wrangle messy materials data, harmonize disparate ERP systems and simplify inventory-management processes. These successes will pave the way for future growth in an increasingly demand-driven economy.

Among the milestones that we’re most proud of:

  • The creation of a new brand identity―Verusen―that better represents our commitment to helping complex supply chains achieve more agility and drive out working capital costs;
  • The official launch of our cloud platform that uses advanced artificial intelligence to harmonize and provide visibility into materials inventory data from ERP and other systems;
  • Our selection for the Dubai Future Accelerators Program in the United Arab Emirates and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing ceremony with Emirates Airline for predictive inventory planning;  
  • Being part of the #SupplyChainCity movement and, along with Atlanta’s premier supply chain leaders, representing the city as one of the most important and innovative global logistics centers in the United States.

Still, there’s much work to be done as we enter 2020 and begin the next decade. As the supply chain continues to evolve, there are a number of disruptive trends surfacing that manufacturers need to weave into their strategic thinking moving forward. They include:

  • New point-solution technologies at smaller-capacity operations will increase over the next 3-5 years. This will alter the landscape across the manufacturing supply chain and potentially drive new competition to challenge and replace legacy ERP systems via upgrades that can be accomplished more easily, more quickly and more economically. Similarly, some new businesses without ERP systems will look to implement visual recognition and RFID technology to allow them to better manage materials.
  • Expect to see more mergers and acquisitions in 2020, especially across larger independents and Big-50 distributors. In some cases, this trend will be fueled by companies that lack sufficient succession planning or that simply don’t have enough capital to invest and keep up with all of the latest technological advancements needed to compete. Don’t be surprised if we also see some technology savvy, non-traditional players forming new entities and jumping into the supply chain and distribution game.
  • Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, is growing quickly and will continue to change the manner in which people manage inventory via innovative technologies that remove traditional barriers and processes so things get done in more effective, scalable ways. For example, as manufacturers and suppliers are challenged to provide even more rapid product delivery options, they can rely on computer-aided technology to transmit secure product model specs to a local supplier that can quickly print out products and parts remotely and with precision. This eliminates the need to carry physical stock of certain items in warehouses having more predictable lead times.
  • The use of blockchain will become more accepted as one of the key mechanisms to help with material traceability across the supply chain. It will also serve as a weapon in the ongoing push for greater security in the exchange and receipt of data. Not everyone understands the true premise of blockchain yet, but it’s a valuable tool that, when implemented upon the proper foundation, presents a comprehensive record of transactions that cannot be tampered with. You must start by harnessing the data already in your existing system, however, in order to lay that solid foundation prior to adding blockchain as a strategic element.

Verusen Eyes Expanded Focus in 2020

Enterprises recognize the opportunities of Industry 4.0 and that participation is “a must” going forward to not only stay relevant but to win in the future. But, for many overwhelmed organizations, there’s still a great deal of uncertainty over how to proceed. It comes down to a willingness to embrace change management and the ability to toss aside longstanding, outdated strategies that have been relied upon for years, even decades.

To get there, several large manufacturers have already begun to assign technology roles and offices with titles such as Chief Digital Officer and VP of Transformation in order to get a clearer understanding of what they need to do to remain competitive in today’s rapidly changing environment. Many others are turning to sources outside of their companies to gain further insight into artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), IoT, additive manufacturing and other innovations.

Verusen’s mission throughout 2020 will be to help organizations unleash their handcuffed data and solve business challenges in inventory without the need to commission massive and expensive projects. 2020 will be the year of accelerating our ability to build the intelligent connected supply chain.

As 2019 draws to a close, we wish everyone a bright holiday season and great success, health and happiness in the new year!