“Bimodal” is the Word of the Day

by Josh Roffman, on May 23, 2016

Screen_Shot_2016-05-23_at_8.48.33_AM.pngWhat do you have when physical and digital worlds converge in today’s supply chain? The answer, according to Gartner and several of the worlds leading companies, is a bimodal supply chain. During the Gartner Supply Chain Executive Summit the term bimodal has been a constant theme as analysts and companies describe the impact that the digital world has had on supply chains and how living in a hybrid world between digital and physical processes has become the norm.

Stuart Pann, HP’s Chief Supply Chain Officer, delivered a keynote presentation that highlighted some of their move towards digital business and a bimodal supply chain. Some of the stats that Stuart shared about HP, a $53 Billion company and its immense supply chain were eye opening…
  • 4,250,000 orders per year
  • Every minute (of every day) HP sells 100 PCs and 65 Printers
  • 870 Shipping Lanes

During his presentation, Pann also talked about some of their new digital watermarking technology and shared an interesting demo of how it could be used in the supply chain and by consumers. The notion of a digital watermark is to be able to scan and  leverage information that is encoded in a ‘digital watermark’ that is largely invisible to the untrained eye.

Lastly, Pann provided a very interesting review of HPs advancements in 3D printing. He actually shared an example how they were dramatically able to reduce the cost of certain parts for the 3D printer by having it render its own parts. He claimed that over 50 parts for their new 3D printers will be printed by their own 3D printers.

It’s clear that trends in traceability and printing continue to evolve and are intersecting the supply chain like they have never before. Stay tuned as these and others trends evolve.

Also, for more information on how labeling intersects the global supply chain and helps companies meet a wide range of customer and regulatory requirements, check out our recent Top 5 Trends in Enterprise Labeling.

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