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Innovation and Technology (and Robots) at IMHX 2019

This week, I attended IMHX, which is the UK’s biggest showcase of intralogistics solutions, featuring a broad range of state-of-the-art storage handling and distribution services from more than 400 leading companies. The size and scale of this event were impressive – a diverse blend of solutions, but with a reoccurring theme of innovation and technology. In addition to the exhibitors, 80 speakers delivered 100 hours of free-to-attend presentations, seminars, and workshops across the 4-day event.

A few personal highlights from the exhibition were playing noughts and crosses (tic-tac-toe for the American audience) against a robot (and winning), and listening to Bethany Forvargue from The Novus Trust and Damian Alexander of Leidos UK. The Novus Trust works with leading universities to support and inspire the next generation of Supply Chain Logisticians. Bethany spoke about young professionals in our industry, and how to motivate them within the workplace. Damian offered us an insight into how the Ministry of Defence manages logistics and the value they have found through embracing technology.

This nicely set the scene for my presentation regarding how the pharmaceutical industry is using data to enhance compliance and operating ability. With healthcare products becoming more complex, there is a need for the logistics industry to ensure that temperature, humidity, visibility and security across its supply chain are compliant. Whilst we are on the curve of technological advancement within the supply chain, many are fragmented and disjointed. We looked at how manufacturers have used data and technology to enhance shipping practices and improve the overall quality of the product.

It’s interesting to note that there was a vast array of solutions using technology within warehouses and manufacturing facilities, but not during transportation, which is often overlooked. Product in transit is product at risk. The focus on quality, security and safety of products needs to extend beyond the warehouse doors. Overhaul offers that solution and peace of mind, and it was great sharing exactly how we do this with the audience. Many thanks to IMHX and SHD’s Kirsty Adams for the opportunity.

Author: Amy Shortman, FCILT | Director of Product Marketing at Overhaul

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