Bonnie Cliff (BC): Has the trend towards investing in new technologies been affected during the coronavirus outbreak?
Michelle Raven (MR): Things won’t go back to normal after COVID-19 and thought leaders need to plan for the ‘new normal’. Companies were investing in innovative technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence and drones pre-covid. The pandemic has accelerated and not hindered their advancement. Companies have found themselves increasing investment in new technologies due to COVID-19 and these developments have received more focus.
BC: How has technology been harnessed to maintain regular service levels during the COVID-19 pandemic?
MR: Leidos has been investigating technology such as wearables like AR/VR enabled glasses that help find a supply in a warehouse within the lenses themselves, down to the exact row and shelf. Similarly, as you’re walking down an aisle in the warehouse, the glasses will connect information and inventory the stocks, giving you a near-real-time understanding of the inventories. Not only has this nurtured improvements in our logistics capability, it is helping us to minimise staffing levels in a warehouse setting and preventing further spread of the virus.
BC: How can logistics operators make the right investment decisions in technology for the long term?
MR: As I mentioned earlier, logistics operators must prepare for the ‘new normal’. I think we’ll see a greater investment in data analytics not only to give companies a better understanding of the events happening right now, but far more importantly, it gives them the ability to predict what impact unexpected events will have on the supply chain. Leidos has made a significant investment in people, tools and algorithms to perform the analytics.
Michelle Raven will discuss Thought Leadership and Digital Transformation in Logistics at the SHD Logistics Virtual Conference on Thursday 15th October. Register your place here.