A long-awaited roadmap has been published that will help the material handling and logistics industry identify key supply chain trends over the next 11 years and determine ways to capitalize on them, MHI, the material handling industry's trade group, said.
The 67-page "U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics," released on Jan. 15, was developed over 18 months by more than 100 participants from industry, academia, trade association, the media, and government. During four roundtable events between April and June, they offered suggestions on the capabilities that the industry needs to develop to take advantage of trends that will evolve between today and 2025. The first draft was released in October 2013 for review and comments; the feedback was integrated into a second draft, released in November 2013.
Kevin Gue, an associate professor of industrial engineering at Auburn University's Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, served as the document's editor. A five-person writing team assisted him. The project also involved five trade associations and eight publication partners. Among those publications were DC Velocity and its sister publication, CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly.
"The Roadmap represents the 'collective mind,' as it were, of the entire industry—from end users to suppliers to academics to associations and government," said Gue.
Gue said he hopes the publication will spawn collaborative solutions to major challenges facing the supply chain. "Many of the issues described in the Roadmap will be addressed by individual companies in response to market forces and advances in technology. But other problems will require disparate groups to pull in the same direction," he said. "Standardization, widespread collaboration, securing a qualified workforce for the future [are all] issues [that] will require stakeholders to work together in new ways."
MHI is providing administrative and financial support for the development of the Roadmap. A copy of the report can be found at www.MHLroadmap.org.