Kenco’s 3PL study points to need for innovation.

The State of the 3PL Innovation Survey found that nearly 85% of respondents defined innovation as “process improvements” or “business model innovation.”

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While new and improved supply chain innovations are always making headlines, a recent survey conducted by Kenco reveals that awareness and interest are not the same as adoption.

Kenco, a leading provider of integrated logistics solutions, real estate services, and material handling equipment, recently surveyed supply chain leaders from a range of industries to get a deeper understanding of how they define innovation, which technologies will have the greatest impact, and plans for the future of innovation.

Which phrase most applies to how you define innovation in your organization?

The State of the 3PL Innovation Survey found that nearly 85% of respondents defined innovation as “process improvements” or “business model innovation.” This proves that although the media emphasizes trendy technologies of tomorrow (ex: drones, AR/VR, etc.), supply chain leaders are actually investing in the new technologies and solutions that can have incremental but impactful changes today in their supply chain’s and bottom line.

Kristi Montgomery, VP of Innovation at Kenco told LM in an interview that “innovation” is now needed more than ever to cope with “the Amazon effect.”

“Many supply chain managers did not expect the dramatic shift in customer demand,” she says. “As a consequence, we felt that we needed to address the trend with a new strategic arm of the company.

Montgomery was formerly Kenco’s VP of information technology, so she knows something about crisis management. Her new job is to anticipate change and prepare her customers for a range of solutions.

“We expect ‘innovation’ to become part of the academic supply chain curriculum at many schools in the future,” she says. “It’s the logical extension of Six Sigma, and will be needed more than ever.”

Other statistics from this survey showed that:

  • 83% of supply chain leaders plan to invest in supply chain visibility, while drones and augmented reality both ranked the lowest in investment plans at 8% 
  • 64% of supply chain leaders deemed supply chain visibility as the highest priority, while 40% and 42%, respectively, indicated drones and driverless vehicles were equally not a priority.
  • 94% of survey respondents feel that it’s important for their 3PL provider to have a competency in technology and innovation. In addition, more than 50% expect their 3PL provider to also be investing in innovative technologies.

Read the full report here


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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