Walmart – Vision for Supply Chain Drones Beyond Delivery
In the past two weeks, two industry heavy-weights articulated supply chain drone use cases that went largely unnoticed. Why? Because the world is fascinated with having delivery drones, ever since Bezos brought Charlie Rose into his ‘secret’ lab and showed the world Amazon Prime Air.
The reality is that the near-term applications for drone technology is actually more upstream – utilized for inventory checking for a variety of asset types both inside and outside distribution centers. Not quite as sexy or customer-facing as a drone in your neighborhood, but a very significant development for supply chains nonetheless.
The Gartner document linked below discusses the drone use cases including:
- Asset inventory tracking for trailer yards
- Inventory checks for finished vehicles in the automotive industry
- Locating high-value assets across a geographically dispersed area
- Warehouse inventory management
Velocity, efficiency and the need to accurately assess inventory levels are driving this disruptive technology need. As is always the case, while there are many different approaches to the problem, the use of the drone technology is quite simply the most cost effective solution available.
- Gartner report, "Innovation Insight: Explore the Value of Drones in Logistics" - by Gartner Analyst, Bart De Muynck, October 15, 2015
- Reuters Exclusive: Wal-Mart seeks to test drones
- PINC Solutions #SupplyChainDrone