MHI Annual Industry Report Response: Embracing the Digital Mindset

Connecting Data, Talent, and Technology in Digital Supply Chains

Recently, the MHI Annual Industry Report “Embracing the Digital Mindset” was released and discussed at MODEX 2020 on March 12. This is the seventh annual highly rated report on industry research from MHI and Deloitte. This year’s survey report details the coupling of digital technology and workforce challenges in the supply chain industry. Here are some of the highlights.

Continuous push to digital

Supply chain digital connectivity calls for a unified, systemic approach to metrics and management of each step in an organization. When the right programs are implemented and the workforce is trained properly to use them, organizations find opportunities for improvement and increased ROI. In this digital age, companies who choose to stay behind the curve are hurt, while organized and technologically driven companies grow.

Top 3 challenges in 2020

Please note: These findings are based on 2019-2020 data before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the coronavirus has created additional challenges in the industry, these concerns below will still be important for supply chain companies once the pandemic has passed.

  • Labor – The high competition for labor remains the largest challenge amongst supply chain companies, with 88% reporting that their organization struggles to hire, train, and retain qualified workers.

  • Rising Customer Expectations – Customers are pushing for faster, better, cheaper and more customized service. This so called “Amazon effect” is a pain for over 86% of those surveyed.

  • Forecasting and Visibility – 84% express the need for forecasting, predictive analytics and and real time data to allow for proper planning, procurement, staffing and more in their organization.

Prioritizing what technologies to implement

Determining the optimal technologies to adopt and when to implement them is a huge challenge for decision makers due to the insanely quick pace of innovation and simultaneous market pressures. The best place to begin depends on the business need, but an implementation that provides visibility into activities can provide extremely valuable to determine baselines and areas of improvement. Organizations must create a technical architecture that can grow and change to support evolving technology and supply chain resilience. Only a digital supply chain that is agile, automated and self-learning will likely be able to meet these demands to compete and thrive in the future.

Digital technology being used currently:

  • 59% Cloud Computing and Storage, with 90% planning to adopt in next 5 years
  • 39% Robotics and Automation, with 68% planning to adopt in next 5 years
  • 28% Predictive Analytics, with 82% planning to adopt in next 5 years


Data to drive decisions

Today, every link of the supply chain is becoming more sensor-enabled, and the scope and scale of the resulting data will only continue to increase in the future. Collecting, integrating and analyzing data streams can drive changes and improvements in supply chains. Many companies today are not capitalizing on their operational data to drive change. Going forward, companies will need to develop greater expertise at valuing and capitalizing on their data assets.

Labor, rising customer expectations, forecasting and visibility are some of the toughest challenges in the supply chain today.   

What is your organization doing to overcome them?

When looking at broadening technology in the supply chain industry, labor management systems are a key component to a successful digital roadmap. Having systems in place to plan your labor needs and manage your performance in order to serve your customers in a timely and accurate manner can make the difference between thriving and surviving. The use of labor management software and accurate engineered standards can help companies optimize their workforce.

ProTrack Labor Management Software is key to reducing labor cost, increasing throughput, and overcoming the tight labor market.

ProTrack provides tools to boost productivity and improve your cost per unit:

  • Labor planning
  • Supervisor workbench
  • Observations & coaching
  • Ad Hoc reporting
  • Alerting
  • BI Dashboard
  • Standards calculations
  • Learning curves
  • Incentive programs
  • Quality tracking
  • Corrective action plans
  • Timeclock
  • Employee Kiosks
See how ProTrack can help your operation today.

Want to read the full MHI Report? 

To find out how an LMS can help identify improvement opportunities within your organization