Where it, or the value chain, is at present:
Fast-forward to 2019, however, and the landscape is almost entirely unrecognisable.
Logisticians, supply chain personnel, and sales teams embedded within the likes of Amazon, Oracle, and Microsoft are now more likely to lend their services and innovations to governments so that the latter can move troops and equipment closer to the frontlines of armed combat.
While the US still spends over 25 percent more on R&D in this sector than its nearest competitor (i.e., China), the more exciting developments in the field of logistics are taking place on the fringes of universities, research parks, innovation hubs, and aerospace clusters.
No one company understands this transition better, though, than Hanhaa.
This firm epitomizes what needs to happen within and across supply chains, which is to build lasting partnerships across both civil and governmental organizations by hosting and attending conferences aimed at safely and securely advancing R&D around the IoT, 5G networks, AI, and interplanetary modes of transportation, among others.
Not only do such initiatives lead to job creation and other positive, knock-on economic effects, but the dual-use aspects of monitoring and tracking technology means a likely decrease in criminal activities, which benefits society, writ large.
Where it, or supply chain spin-ins, are going:
What both corporate- and civil-minded supply chain leaders must come to grips with, then, is not only the notion of military-to-mail order technology, but the opposite as well, or:
This can best be seen by commercial technology originally developed with consumers in mind, but which is later militarized (read, not necessarily weaponized) for defence departments still at the mercy of long-lead procurement processes that fail to keep time with fast-moving advances in technology.
Taken still further, and as is being explored by Hanhaa, the concept of open-community developments around IoT devices and 5G networks that lend themselves to both spin-offs and spin-ins with militaries and police forces alike, are gaining traction as a means in which to make information accessible to all and, in so doing, reduce the likely of armed conflict at its source.
Of course only time will tell if such ‘sidewalks’ will encounter any military-esque blockades, but participation in such initiatives and government contracts is no less meaningful or laudable.
There is still an arms-slash-logistics race between nations, of course, despite the long-held belief that an increasingly interconnected world would lead to less conflict, but there is hope not only within countries but across regions and alliances as well.
The below charts indicate a ‘business first’ logistics policy actually levels the playing field, or battlefield, as it were, with the number of inter-nation clusters, hubs, and campuses growing in nations that feel threatened, but that which produce some of the most innovative tech the world has ever seen (e.g., South Korea, Israel, and Japan).