To keep pace with present day challenges, supply chain executives must stay up to date with the latest trends and innovations. With that in mind, we’ve identified the five supply chain trends to look out for:
1. Collaboration to take centre stage
Companies are already reducing the number of suppliers; the idea is to put more eggs in one basket as this allow companies to leverage different incentives or procurement tiers. Over the next few years, there will be an increased in collaboration efforts as companies plan to improve efficiency and reduce cost through collaborative distribution, cooperative sourcing and reverse logistics.
2. Prioritise End-to-end visibility
According to a recent study by the Aberdeen Group, improving visibility within the business and across the supply chain has been identified as a priority by 85% of global supply chain executives. Improving visibility is seen as a way of boosting supply chain agility and responsiveness, which can in turn help to increase customer satisfaction. Ideally, there would also be end-to-end KPI’s, such as measuring On-Shelf Availability (OSA) at all nodes of the supply chain.
3. Big data, big decisions
The latest World Economic Forum study predicts that there will be over 50 billion internet-connected devices by 2022. This will lead to an explosive amount of data in form of social media content, emails, e-commerce “buy” buttons, and everything in between. Analysing this data in real time will allow marketers to work closely with procurement and inventory so that everyone knows when and wat to buy.
4. Agile is the new lean
Agile methodology is often seen as an alternative to traditional project management and has been widely used in software development to help developers better to respond to unpredictability through iterative, incremental work cadences. In supply chain management, agile management will help to cope with unforeseen events through lightning-fast decision. This increased flexibility, experts believe, is the only way to solve growing individualisation and complexities in the supply chain.
5. Augmented Reality (AR) is the future
DHL has been looking at AR and recently concluded that the technology could have a massive impact on supply chain management. Among other benefits, AR will allow organisations to visualise their next warehouses in full-scale before construction even begins. In other words, you can fully experience what you’re trying to do before actually doing it. Imagine how much money this could save your company. AR can also be used to optimise picking, loading and truck delivery.
If you want your business to remain competitive, keep pace with these trends