Betting on NextGen Technologies

The NextGen Technology Supply Chain Conference will recognize companies leading the way on new technologies.

The NextGen Technology Supply Chain Conference will recognize companies leading the way on new technologies.

What does it take to put together an award winning supply chain utilizing NextGen supply chain technologies?  That’s one of the questions that will be answered at the NextGen Supply Chain Technology Conference, April 27 – 29, 2020 at the Chicago Athletic Association hotel in Chicago. The conference is sponsored by Supply Chain Management Review.

You can click here to view the agenda. Click here to register.

All too often, new technologies are a tough sell. And it’s no different, in fact it may be even tougher, with NextGen Technologies from AI to blockchain, robotics , analytics and the big kahuna of them all – digital transformation. To begin, the CEO wants to be sure that NextGen Technologies serve the company’s mission, not the other way around. The CFO insists that the investment delivers the ROI promised. And the supply chain people need to ensure that the complexities of the supply chain become less so and not more so.
Inertia and indecision are often the answer to giving a NextGen Technology a whirl.

Fortunately, that isn’t always the case. Better yet, the upcoming NextGen Supply Chain Conference will proudly recognize 10 such success stories from companies as diverse and well known as FitBit, GE Appliances, Lenovo and others.

The Supply Chain Award winners are broken into five categories – AI, blockchain, robotics, analytics and digital transformation – across both suppliers and end users. They will receive their awards at the Chicago Athletic Association on April 28, the first full day of the conference. Following is a cursory look at the winners. To get the full story, you’ll want to attend the conference.


Solution Provider Award – LevaData
End User Award – Reyes Holdings

Try all you want, but you can’t find two more divergent applications for AI than these two. LevaData worked with Fitbit while Reyes Holdings focused on its beer division. Who says AI isn’t for everyone.

At Fitbit, procurement needed some transformation. Enter AI. The outcome was a newfound ability to engage with more suppliers, more frequently. AI also significantly improved control over spend. Other benefits of AI include a 2-3% cost savings on direct materials spend and a reduction in spend analysis time by 75%.

Demand planning forecasts were a problem at Reyes Beer Division. A stochastic supervised machine learning model now runs weekly for 28 warehouses and 5,250 SKUs. Forecast accuracy increased as out of stocks fell even with a 12-week horizon in place.


Solution Provider Award – Tompkins Robotics
End User Award – NFI

Tompkins installed a robotic sortation system at a highly automated greenfield DC for a luxury retailer. Order fulfillment was enhanced in critical ways – greater customer satisfaction due to improved delivery times and improved in-stock positions.

NFI needed a flexible and scalable solution to optimize order fulfillment by increasing pick efficiency and order accuracy while ensuring safety. The robotic solution now in place did that by improving pick processes by complementing worker efforts on the warehouse floor.


Solution Provider Award – LeanDNA
End User Award – Dell Technologies

A multinational aerospace company needed to optimize inventory and address shortages. Furthermore, the company’s analytics sat on 600,000 speadsheets. In just 61 days, LeanDNA went from demo to first action on a new automated solution. That hope for inventory reduction hit 36% in just three months.

Dell’s repair operation was the focus of their award-winning analytics solution. In 18 months, the project went from conception to pilot on the road to a 25% improvement in repair efficiency and a 50% reduction in no fault found events. Dell is now on the path to a 50% improvement in overall efficiency.


Solution Provider Award – IBM
End User Award - Lenovo

Among the 2020 winners, these two are the only ones that worked on the same project. Lenovo is working to transform to a demand-driven, intelligent and connected supply network. IBM supplied the blockchain technology that made that possible. As an incorruptible ledger of economic transactions, the blockchain solution provides more than a 20% reduction in supply chain costs while improving data organization in a trusted and secure supply chain.

Digital Transformation

Solution Provider Award –
End User Award – GE Appliances

JD Logistics, an independent business group under the umbrella, created its open platform for digital supply chain. The idea is to provide companies of all sizes to run a digital supply chain even without internal resources. This comprehensive and integrated supply chain service spans from procurement to physical distribution leveraging intelligent planning, production and supply chain across digital technologies including 5G.

Digital transformation at GE Appliances is not just a big picture approach. It is comprehensive, and required just 18 months to go live. Digital transformation is both ongoing and iterative. The ultimate goal, which GE Appliances is moving towards already, is to cut handling in half in smart warehouses that make outstanding use of space. In fact, the working proposition is to increase warehouse size by just 35% while doubling throughput. Only digital transformation can make that goal let alone a realistic one.
Click here to register.

Article topics

Email Sign Up

Get news, papers, media and research delivered
Stay up-to-date with news and resources you need to do your job. Research industry trends, compare companies and get market intelligence every week with Robotics 24/7. Subscribe to our robotics user email newsletter and we'll keep you informed and up-to-date.

Robot Technologies