Momentum 2024: Technology Drives Supply Chain Commerce into a New Era

At Momentum last month, Senior Vice President Ann Sung Ruckstuhl explored how tech like AI, Machine learning, and the Internet of Things are revolutionising supply chain commerce. The event focused on innovative technologies that unify people and processes seamlessly across supply and demand. It’s hardly surprising that cloud computing, big data, IoT, robotics, and crucially, machine learning and AI were at the forefront. These technologies are catalysing a new era of supply chain commerce, offering consumers nearly boundless options for instant commerce and fulfilment.

The opening morning of the event featured exciting announcements from Manhattan, highlighted in the keynote by our CEO, Eddie Capel. The launch of Manhattan Active® Supply Chain Planning represents a significant milestone, unifying the traditionally distinct domains of supply chain execution and planning. Additionally, we introduced Manhattan Active® Maven and Manhattan Assist – innovative, GenAI-powered solutions designed to transform customer engagement. These tools include a chatbot tailored for consumer interactions and suite of GenAI enhancements aimed at boosting the efficiency and service quality of customer service representatives. Both are set to significantly enhance customer experiences while simultaneously reducing operational costs.

The unification theme came across loud and clear in the keynote by Thiago Rodrigues, VP of End-to-End Logistics for the Global Supply Chain at Schneider Electric, which is ranked #1 in Gartner’s Global Supply Chain Top 25 organisations. Schneider Electric has embarked on a digital transformation journey to streamline and unify their complex supply chain. Anchored in forward-thinking vision, this strategy includes advancing to cloud technologies, unifying warehouse and transportation management, implementing sustainability initiatives and collaborating with Manhattan to further enhance their supply chain as a key competitive differentiator.

True modernisation of the supply chain must go beyond the adoption of technology and take into consideration the relationship between technology and the human workforce. People remain the heartbeat of an organisation, yet today’s headlines point to a potential workforce shortage on the horizon. Brands can leverage technologies to empower their frontline and supply chain workers by limiting time spent on menial tasks, and deploy solutions that help their employees sell, service, and fulfil frictionlessly and profitably. Whether in the retail store or distribution centre, the people that power the brand need to be empowered by experiences that are intuitive and engaging.

What that enables is a new way of thinking as it relates to collaboration and communication across the entire ecosystem. In a power session that explored the relationships between the planning and execution sides, the presenters called out the benefits of breaking down silos and the groundbreaking opportunities that arise in the warehouse and on the road when the systems go beyond connecting and start collaborating.

Interestingly, it was rock climber Alex Honnold, known best for his free solo ascent of the 3,000-foot El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, who drove home the show’s theme – Push Possible – through his story of determination and his message of setting big goals and then having the courage to realise them. That’s what allowed him to make the impossible possible – a nod to the focus that companies will need as they embark on their own rollouts of the supply chain of the future.

Simply put, supply chain commerce can no longer be linear or siloed. Today’s announcements and the many digital transformation successes shared by our customers is another step toward our vision of delivering the Manhattan Active® Platform, one that enables the continuous, collaborative, and bi-directional sharing of data that’s critical to maintaining the pace at which commerce moves.

One thing is for sure, the supply chain of the future has arrived – and it will only continue to evolve as technologies advance and expectations are reset.