Tech investment strategies remain conservative

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

Investments in supply chain technology continue to build on existing investments, as companies seek to avoid the risk of supporting research and development of unproven solutions.

A newly released report from eye for transport has found that the bulk of planned investment is focused on transportation management, business intelligence, warehouse management systems and visibility. Close to 60 percent of the survey’s more than 500 respondents across third-party logistics, tech providers and shippers plan to spend on business intelligence, while about 50 percent are set on transportation management systems. About 45 percent are looking at visibility systems and WMS.

Where companies are venturing into new technology, artificial intelligence (AI) is delivering the best bang for the buck for 27 percent of respondents. Robotic process automation (RPA) has jumped to top spot for 19 percent, up from only 12 percent last year.

Internet of Things (IoT) continues to be a rewarding investment, with 21 percent saying it delivers the best return for their operation. It’s also the technology deemed most likely to have the biggest impact in the next 18 months.

As we go further down the road, however, AI is expected to take its place as the big game changer. Nearly half of respondents (46 percent) say AI will have the biggest impact in the next five years.

Blockchain remains much discussed but not yet implemented, with 68 percent of firms polled this year saying they have not undertaken a proof of concept process for the tech.