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How are Drones Redefining Supply Chain Management?

By Enterprise Technology Review | Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Drones are all set to make it to the skies and break the barriers faced by traditional supply chain management.

FREMONT, CA: Supply chain management is navigating a highly awaited phase as unmanned systems gain traction rapidly. Drone development has reached new levels, and drone manufacturers are extending the capabilities of drones in order to increase their functionality. With drone delivery becoming viable, supply chain service providers are eager to adopt and test the technology. Although the regulatory environment for operating drones commercially is still complicated, drones are already capturing the attention of companies looking for the better supply chain management. Some of the recent developments throw light on the implications of unmanned systems in making supply chains better.  

In the initial stages of the supply chain, unmanned systems are expected to make raw materials easily obtainable. UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) might also become indispensable in managing inventories in extensive facilities. Taking stock of products within warehouses is all set to be redefined as manual aspects in the task get replaced with automated abilities of UAVs. Robotic drones that can transport smaller products from one location to another have also been created. These capabilities entitle factories and warehouses to be operated with minimum effort and maximum efficiency. Optimizing the delivery of products between different production facilities with drones make supply chains function faster.   

In manufacturing units, the dependence on conveyor belts or manual transporting systems is about to lose relevance as efficient UAVs enter the space. In addition to adding value to the supply chain, the UAVs also have the potential to take control and maintenance of equipment better. Being small, quick and affordable, drone technology will cut down costs and contribute to enhancing productivity.

As regulatory frameworks regarding drone application for delivery take shape, the companies can also look to involve unmanned systems in delivering finished goods to customers. Despite the constraints related to privacy and compliance, unmanned systems offer significant opportunities to add value to supply chain management through their ability to aid delivery, monitor inventory and detect risks.

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