Over the past few years, industries have been struggling with the transforming supply chain ecosystem. However, it would be a mistake to say they were all alone in this battle with the ever-changing economic environment.
Software development firms have leveraged access to data, technology, innovative cultures, and advanced analytics, therefore helping companies to adapt to changes happening. This resulted in several individual digital supply chain solutions that have been assorted largely. The outcomes of those influenced infrastructure, payments, access to financial services, distribution, and components of sustainability.
What are the supply chain disruptions now that the newest developments have to help with? Recent media coverage highlights the following problems:
- Demand-driven (lack of capacity)
Of course, this is not a complete list. But using commercial innovations for reducing associated risks might become a game-changer. Technology solutions will follow the tendencies in the industry. Here are seven trends in supply chain solutions to keep in mind for 2022 and beyond.
In 2022, supply chains are changing rapidly, and they will continue to do so by following the sustainability trend. More and more consumers become conscious of their environmental impacts and the recyclability of the products that they buy. It makes different industries respond with different environmentally-friendly initiatives such as using recyclable packaging and renewable energy sources, reducing carbon emissions, adopting a hybrid working setup, and others.
The latest news shows that executives and leaders are working on sustainability strategies to support the trend of positive climate change. Among the ways to support the trend is using the experience of the leading technology firms that have been implementing SAP solutions designed to transform the company into an intelligent enterprise.
Dwight Klappich, the Vice President Analyst with the Gartner Supply Chain practice, noted “Sustainability has impacts that span the entire value chain — from plan to source, to make, to deliver, to the service domain.”
2. The rise of digital supply chains
With the greater spread of e-commerce, digital supply chains will continue to evolve. Technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning are used to improve data collection at the regional and global levels.
The successful digital transformation of supply chains requires insights gathered from the internet of things, shared cloud-based networks, and process automation and verification. The blockchain-based tools, AI, and ML-driven technologies will drive the changes in the following year and significantly improve decision-making. Make sure to implement end-to-end SCM solutions that include everything from system analysis and implementation to post-launch support.
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3. Course set for automation
Most of the executive teams are concentrated on rethinking and rebuilding their workforce strategies. And here is where advanced analytics come into play.
Digital supply chains help organizations to stay agile and mitigate disruption along the way. Predictive and prescriptive analytics provides them with hard data, which in turn makes developing strategies more precise.
In particular, the companies that utilize the potential of these solutions will reach better results using intelligent decision-making raised by Big Data. What matters here is high-level effective data security and governance, because the stakes are high. Moreover, companies’ leaders have to invest in reclassification and leveling up the skills of their employees.
4. E-commerce influence
One of the most significant trends affecting today’s supply chains is e-commerce. The economic development of e-commerce is outstanding and is hard to keep track of, especially after the COVID-19 outbreak.
Warehouses all over the world are jam-packed, sometimes it gets to the point where products are stored outdoors. There is an opinion that this situation is a logical follow-up to the longest steady growth peak in five years. Multi-channel order fulfillment and e-commerce will continue changing the way organizations identify and set major priorities.
No doubt, e-commerce develops along the way with challenges, such as the growth of cross-border trade or the influence of customer experience that can be destructive for business. On the one hand, an impressive 66% of consumers think of a company’s customer service reputation as a critical factor when making a purchase decision. On the other hand, e-commerce creates new opportunities for the companies’ logistics process to gain a competitive advantage.
5. Supply chain agility
The ever-increasing uncertainty in the market forces companies to adapt quickly, which makes supply chain agility to be essential. It should be a fast-adapting, flexible network that can proactively respond to active customer demand. This trend forms out of the need to timely identify the ways of increasing responsiveness through variable cost structures.
Nevertheless, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, so organizations’ operational strategy is to constantly test and implement innovations. The distinctive feature of the most cutting-edge supply chains will be reliability and quick response to delays and unexpected events. This will help not only to meet customer expectations more precisely but also to outpace the competitors.
6. Put customer first
It’s important for supply chain experts to focus on providing good customer service and delivering an exceptional shopping experience. It is not by chance that consumer-centricity appeared in the latest trends, as customer expectations continue to expand.
As was mentioned above, people demand eco-friendly, sustainable business methods, and companies’ approaches make a big impact on their loyalty. Successful supply chain management will require a highly skilled workforce with broader cross-functional and analytical skills. To support the new heights of customer-centricity, training should be provided in all involved departments. Adhering to this trend will contribute to the company’s supply chains in 2022.
Supply chain leaders should ensure adopting a scalable, resilient system to withstand competition in 2022. Companies should generally target climate-positive initiatives, and supply chain functions such as planning, demand management, and fulfillment should be based on sustainable business strategies.
And as new technologies are adopted, improved insights will be discovered, leading to further digital transformation and advancement.