This Isn’t Your Parent’s Automotive Industry

Being privy to real-time information about the global movement of goods and the behavior of supply chains (and countries) we see a lot of interesting stuff that we can’t talk about.  But we are willing to share one interesting tidbit.  Over the past twelve months, we’ve had active dialogue with nearly one hundred companies in the Fortune 500.  A number of these companies have adopted our solution, others are still engaged, and some have dropped off.  It’s a rapidly evolving market, but that’s not the point of this post.  Of those large global enterprises, which industries are leading the digital supply chain innovation charge?  Judging from the sheer number of companies we’ve engaged with and the level of strategic thinking within them, the pharmaceutical industry tops our list.  This probably doesn’t surprise anyone.  Pharmaceutical companies have complex global supply chains, high value goods many of which need to be temperature controlled, they are tightly regulated with patient safety concerns escalating the importance of risk mitigation, and they are motivated to reduce inventories and compress cycle times.

What is the second most innovative industry on our list?  Wait for it…(and pretend you didn’t read the blog headline)…the automotive industry.  That’s right, the automotive industry!  Automotive executives and supply chain practitioners are all over digitization, and they’re thinking way outside the box.  Car and tire manufacturers alike are pushing the envelope on sensors, artificial intelligence and predictive analytics for supply chain.  They’re gobbling up our most forward-thinking capabilities, the stuff our other customers are pushing to phase II and phase III of their deployments.  They’re making good use of our satellite network to do something other than track the movement of conveyances or assess global risks unfolding in real-time.  We’re providing OEMs a clear picture of their finished vehicle inventory and its real-time flow in port yards and dealer lots.  We’re modeling consumer sentiment on social media and interpreting style and trim level preferences by consumers who are just beginning their buying journey.  We’re helping tire manufacturers relay sensor information from tires, communicated through vehicles and back to our CDI platform for analysis and alerting.  We’re helping OEMs to self-discover their n-tier supplier networks so they can assess risk and throughput issues beyond just their tier-one suppliers.

Indeed, the automotive industry is challenging pharma for the digital supply chain innovation award (assuming we were handing one out).  Maybe that doesn’t surprise anyone.  After all, here’s an industry that’s pushing forward aggressively with electric, autonomous vehicles; an industry that’s poised to command a larger share of video content delivered through onboard entertainment systems; an industry that will make one of the biggest dents in global carbon footprint over the next decade.

All we can say is we’re enjoying the ride.  Bring on more of these innovators!



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