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Supply chain and virtual reality

Updated: Apr 25, 2023

We’re hearing a lot about Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) these days, and not just for gaming with your kids. It’s still early days, but distribution center and plant managers are exploring ways to put these technologies to use to further optimize their operations and make their facilities more efficient and productive.

The concept of digital twins have become more relevant now than ever. Whilst the technology has been around for more than a decade, I say this with a fact given I wrote a book on digital twins for a pharmaceutical company back in 2010, the concept has taken a refreshed outlook with the ability to leverage augmented reality headsets.

Previously, we could simulate your manufacturing or operations process using mathematical and statistical modelling to give you a visual presentation of your manufacturing process highlighting key bottlenecks, inventory fluctuations and model costs for end-to-end manufacturing or distribution facilities.

The new kid on the block, makes all the above look real and in 3D form which we think is pretty cool. The concept is that you can visualise the production flow better. with added smarts such as artificial intelligence and machine learning This can further be used to improve efficiencies in internal flows within manufacturing facilities to reduce non - value-adding processes, This could be in the form of excessive forklift movements or even more granular in the form of reducing non-value adding movements by a palletiser.

The concept is relatively new regarding the use of augmented headsets, as the industry matures further, we anticipate more opportunities to leverage this technology. As an example, we can leverage the metaverse for an omnichannel retail experience where a customer can walk through a virtual store whilst in their house and get treated like a real walk-in customer. We must highlight though currently, the metaverse is in its infancy , so any investment in this space needs due diligence on the practicality and viability of the models.

We can assist with building your strategy on an omnichannel experience in the meta-verse and set up your supply chain to cater to such requirements. Reach out to us for a chat.

We found a really interesting podcast that talks about the opportunities regarding augmented reality within the supply chain. You can access it here.


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