May 21, 2018
Technology has radically changed 21st century life, and immediacy has crept into our expectations of many of our daily interactions. This is perhaps nowhere more apparent than in online shopping and delivery, according to a 2017 BRP study, 51% of retailers offered same day delivery. But many of us never question how these items arrive at our doorstep, the answer, in part, is innovative supply chains.
Supply chains are the sequence of processes involved in the production of and distribution of a commodity and are both business to business facing and business to consumer facing. Today our nation’s supply chains are facing a pressing impediment to meeting our modern demands – aging infrastructure.
In Washington, we are winding down the annual celebration of “Infrastructure Week,” but this all important issue shouldn’t be confined to one week of focused discussion. The infrastructure needs of supply chain businesses will persist long after these discussions have ended. So we asked a couple of industry top thinkers to answer a simple question:
What is one thing you would change about U.S. infrastructure to better enable supply chains of the future?
A key theme ran throughout their answers – they would improve our infrastructure to enable today’s technological innovations. Technology has the potential to improve efficiencies in supply chains, but if our outdated infrastructure does not allow for utilization of new technologies – US companies will fall behind. Put differently, US infrastructure must enable our supply chains to adopt new technologies – not inhibit them. For a deeper dive our thought leaders weigh in:
Bernhard Kindelbacher, Lufthansa Cargo, Head of the Americas
Darrell Wilson, Assistant Vice President Government Relations, Norfolk Southern
So what’s next? Our supply chains are already helping to perform the modern marvel of next day delivery, but they can and want to do more for consumers and business, the only thing stopping them is improving our infrastructure.