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A relatively short and succinct post from SCM World chief content office Kevin O’Marah on “zero marginal cost” potential in supply chains. It is not so much about reducing costs as most traditional supply chain strategy is oriented towards, but about creating value through new technologies and new ideas: “The future supply chain will create value by, for instance, linking sensors and controls on things like Caterpillar tractors and Johnson Controls’ thermostats back to parts depots and control towers to optimise uptime and energy efficiency.

“It will dispatch detailed CAD models to distributed 3D printers in operating rooms, auto-repair shops and hardware stores for local production of unique parts for use in almost any application imaginable.

“It will also recognise and manage the closed-loop system that is inherent in everything from agriculture to steel production and design the network accordingly. The wealth sharing and sustainability-enhancing qualities of this system are very promising.”

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