As new technology floods the supply chain, companies continue to look for ways to create more efficient processes and procedures. While both Amazon and Dominos have toyed with the idea of using drones to deliver their merchandise, one humanitarian sees it as an opportunity to deliver first-world medicine to third world countries, according to The Guardian.
Throughout history, some of the most widely used technology took a "tactical to practical" journey to market. Both the Internet and GPS were originally used by the military before their widespread adoption by consumers. While drones initially flew unmanned missions during recent conflicts in the Middle East, Greek entrepreneur Andreas Raptopoulos imagined a way the technology could also save lives.
Raptopoulos said he believes the technology can replace the expensive infrastructure programs that would be required to bring supplies to remote areas through traditional means. He envisions drones providing an affordable form of connectivity for these outlying areas much the way that mobile networks replaced the need for cable and Internet wires. The machines could be of particular help in sub-Saharan Africa, where 85 percent of roads are inaccessible during the wet season. Aid agencies are some of the first organizations that will begin experimenting with the devices.
Mobility Solutions Have Already Arrived in Other Forms
While drones are still a pipe dream for most organizations looking to harness new technology, there are plenty of other ways that companies can connect to their most remote outposts. Mobile data collection is one way that organizations are generating an entirely new way of viewing their remote locations and off-site operations. With new solutions, organizations can collect the same quality of data from warehouses that are located in off-the-grid areas, facilities where cellular networks are prohibited, from field service agents and during transport.
For companies that have experienced the advantages of big data within their central locations, the ability to replace paper-based technology at off-site locations will create a new level of analytics that can help improve every facet of the company's operations. Data collected at these locations can be uploaded to existing ERP systems when signals are established, providing quantities of data previously unattainable. This can improve inventory control at remote locations and gather more accurate data relating to customers during deliveries, creating a more speedy billing process.