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Why Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Uav) Drones, Are Increasingly Used in Supply Chain Management

Nyamweya is a Kenyan scholar who has done many years of research on a diversity of topics


Unmanned aerial vehicles refer to vehicles that move on air without anyone on board. These vehicles can either be autonomous vehicles in the sense that they have the capability to sense their environment or navigate on their own or they can be remote guided or controlled (McKevitt, 2017). Of late, drones have found their way through supply chain management, with their applications being felt both outdoors and indoors. Some companies have began piloting or using drones for the purposes of tracking their trailers in a warehouse, valuable assets in remote sites, new inventory in a storage location, there have been barriers to implementation of drone technology indoors (Lacefield, 2016). Consequently, this has limited the use and adoption of this technology for indoor purposes. On the other hand, the use of drones for outdoor supply management solutions including home parcel delivery is receiving immense attention from companies who are eager to adopt and even improve the technology. Nonetheless, that are expectations that the use of drones in distribution/delivery facilities, warehousing, and manufacturing will rise to significant levels in the near future (Camhi, 2017). In essence, the implementation of drones in supply chain will greatly facilitate the work-in-process inventory level of supply chain management while promising to enhance security and safety alongside promoting the general efficiency in supply chain management. For instance, indoors and inside facilities, drones have got the capability to undertake repair and maintenance functions such as fixing a leaking roof, retrieving a forgotten tool across a compound, perform safety inspections among other functions. Subsequently, work hours will be significantly reduced when drones are used in supply chain management (Lacefield, 2016).


Camhi, J (2017) The drone delivery report: opportunities and challenges in automating logistics with drones. Available at: https://www.businessinsider.com/the-drone-delivery-report-opportunities-and-challenges-in-automating-logistics-with-drones-2017-5?IR=T (accessed on 15th January, 2020)

Lacefield, S (2016) Drones in the supply chain: more than just last-mile delivery Available at: https://www.supplychainquarterly.com/news/20160912-drones-in-the-supply-chain-more-than-just-last-mile-delivery-/ (accessed on 15th, January 2020) McKevitt, J (2017) FAA: Drones will fill the skies in 2021. Available at: https://www.supplychaindive.com/news/FAA-commercial-drone-use-delivery-logistics/438710/ (accessed on 15th, January, 2020)