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What the Roadmap has
taught me this year
The following article, reprinted from MHI Solutions’ second quarter 2015 issue, was written by Gary Forger, MHI’s Managing Director of Professional Development.

No doubt about it. The past year has been a huge one for the U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics.

Not only was it published and made available at, but the Roadmap went on a tour of its own—coast to coast and internationally.


Gary Forger
Gary Forger, MHI’s Managing Director of Professional Development, and organizer of the event.

Join the Roadmap on LinkedIn: Industry members are encouraged to join the U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics Group on LinkedIn and to follow @MHLRoadmap on Twitter.

May 4, 2015: WERC Conference Breakout Session, "Shock and Awe: Revelations from the U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics"
During the annual WERC Conference 2015—held in Orlando, Florida May 3-6—Gary Forger, MHI's Managing Director of Professional Development, presents "Shock and Awe: Revelations from the U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics" on Monday, May 4 from 1:45 to 2:45 p.m. With supply chains evolving at an “exponential-exponential” rate of universal transformation, the impact on a business can inspire both shock and awe. Session attendees will gain a grasp on the most critical disruptors contributing to these changes, as identified by the Roadmap, and the core competencies your business must develop to excel through the turbulence. Participants will examine the key trends and discuss strategies to adapt and thrive.

Welcome to the Future

June 12, 2025

Gaithersburg, MD. John Alvarez has been under his classic 1996 silver Corvette for three and a half hours. He’s sweating profusely, but doing what he loves—restoring old cars. His search for the source of a small oil leak is finally over—a leaking right valve cover gasket. “MyEye, stock check.”

“Yes, sir?” responds a small SmartPin clipped to his shirt. “Is there a right valve cover gasket for my Corvette in this town?”

“Checking, sir, please wait…” After confirming the meaning of “valve cover gasket” and “my Corvette” with appropriate databases, SmartPin sends a stock request via wireless connection to a central database for automotive supplies: “Stock check, right valve cover gasket for a 1996 Chevrolet Corvette, 5.7 liter V8, 4-speed, convertible. Near address: 2049 Mockingbird Lane, Gaithersburg, MD.”

“I have found a source, sir. Please check MyEye to confirm.” Still under the car, John shifts his focus to the eyes up display in his right contact lens as it projects photographs and technical details for the part.

“Next page…. Next page. Yes, that’s it. Please order for immediate delivery.”

“On the way, sir.” The order is immediately placed and paid for. Inside the local auto parts store, a 3D printer begins the job. Ten minutes later, it’s done.

The store’s CrowdDeliver system broadcasts a request for delivery to thousands of participating mobile devices. A notification pops up in the car of Jeff Hart, who lives in John’s neighborhood but has never met him. Jeff is on his way back from his daughter’s gymnastics meet, and only two blocks from the auto parts store. He clicks “Got it” and takes a left toward the store.

A clerk greets him at the service window, “Here you go, Mr. Hart. Do you see the address?” “Yep, it came up right there. I’ve been wanting to meet John for some time.”
“Thank you sir, we’ve credited your account.”

Ten minutes later, Jeff pulls into the driveway of John Alvarez, who is still under his Corvette.

“John, I’m Jeff Hart from down the street. Here’s your gasket. Nice car.”

Sound far fetched?

It’s not.

This is the future, as envisioned by the contributors and authors of the U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics. The Roadmap offers a visionary look at how the material handling and logistics industry will change between now and 2025. It identifies both driving trends and the transformations ahead that will make the above scenario a commonplace occurrence.

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