As Tom Andel of Material Handling & Logistics sees it, the days of unique strategies to meet customer demands may be numbered.
The new aim, he writes, is to be standard. At least as far as material handling is concerned.
"Being unique in meeting customer demand is a losing proposition," he writes in a recent blog post. "Winners use standards to their advantage."
This assessment is based on his reading of the Material Handling Roadmap to 2025, which MHI currently has out for industry review.
The roadmap predicts a future with an interconnected, agile supply chain that defies many of today's basic business assumptions.
"The data produced by sensors and exported from software must be shared universally to enable the real-time decision making that will satisfy customer demands and support the Internet of Things," Andel quotes from the Roadmap.
Without these kinds of shared standards, Andel writes, "a rapid, agile response to a customer placing an order for something they see through their Google Glasses will be more difficult. E-commerce has raised the bar for that response, making same-day and next-day service the new competitive benchmarks everyone will shoot for."
And that, he maintains, will facilitate end-to-end visibility, and with it the ability to respond to customer demands faster than ever before.
Read Tom Andel's full post at Material Handling & Logistics.