Current Trends in Supply Chain Management

Year 2021 was filled with uncertainties, instabilities, and risks for the logistics industry. Industries, worldwide, continue to battle the Great Supply Chain Disruption. Businesses are expected to make significant and foundational changes to their logistics operations in 2022. Getting ahead of key technology trends will enable supply chains to proactively shape a successful, sustainable future. We handpicked the top supply chain trends of 2022. With these trends, businesses can easily build a strategic roadmap for managing their logistics operations.


1. AI, IoT & Cloud Technology Continues to Trend

As companies continue to build out their supply chain strategies, industry experts expect to work out further investment in advanced technology solutions to enhance supply chain performance, risks, and events. The next generation of supply chain trends will also be supported by advanced technologies including computing & Machine Learning (AI/ML), the Internet of Things (IoT), robot process automation (RPA), and Augmented Reality (AR). In near future, companies will find new technological ways for supporting end-to-end supply chain management, execution, predictive analysis, and data analysis. The AI/ML, IoT, AR, and cloud platforms are expected to assist identify patterns, errors and proper supply chain data issues in real-time.

2. Advanced Analytics and Automation to Be Preferred

These two factors will keep accelerating, helping organizations mitigate disruption via digital, agile supply chain management. The implementation of predictive and prescriptive analytics, similarly as advances in Big Data, algorithms and robotics, will have broad-reaching effects. Enterprises will choose greater visibility, data-driven decision-making, execution efficiency, predictability and profitability. Further, effective data security, reskilling employees, and governance are going to be given more importance in 2022.

3. Supply Chain Agility to Play a Major Role

Supply chain agility is going to be vital to form flexible networks which will cater to dynamic customer demand and ever-increasing uncertainty. It'll be important to proactively identify ways to extend responsiveness through variable cost structures. However, as there's no one-size-fits-all approach, organizations must also foster continuously innovative cultures. The agile supply chains of the longer term are those that can react quickly to changes, delays and unexpected events to satisfy customer expectations, outpace the competition and drive growth.

4. Visibility into Supply Chains Will Remain Essential

Supply chain visibility has always been important for organizations and will be equivalently vital in 2022. Reportedly, over 90 per cent of supply chain firms believe that visibility may be a very critical factor for fulfilment. Visibility is going to be a key objective for organizations besieged to realize true transformation, satisfy customers, and capture new markets. People are willing to pay more for ethical and responsible business processes, and this may be a catalyst for investment in supporting technologies. Visibility help companies save time and release resources for more vital issues. Enterprises will rummage around for new business models and heightened trust and collaboration within and beyond organizational boundaries.

5. More focus on Last-Mile Delivery

Demand for last-mile delivery and its market is soaring and is anticipated to grow by 78 per cent, globally by 2030, as per the Economic Forum. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, an enormous inflow of home deliveries has resulted in businesses adding more emphasis to their last-mile deliveries. With last-mile delivery costs contributing to over 50 per cent of total shipping costs, the rising expectations of in-home delivery increase the danger of encountering inefficiencies. Many businesses have started to adopt last-mile delivery technologies into their logistics operations and this trend will increase in 2022.

6. Rise of Omnichannel Fulfilment & E-commerce Systems

The rise of E-commerce is the most commonly understood force affecting today’s supply chains. Warehouses, worldwide, are overpopulated. E-commerce and Omnichannel fulfilment will still shape the way organizations identify and establish key priorities, creating challenges concerning scale and network efficiency while producing new opportunities and technology to realize a competitive advantage. A recent McKinsey survey of consumers shows that 15 per cent of consumers value delivery speed and value. Hence, omnichannel retail will spike more innovation and simplification of existing technology.

7. Optimization and Automation of Shipments

Optimizing shipments and loads by selecting the right mode will ensure that priorities are met regarding delivery times and costs. Shippers can value to move with trucks instead of rail if loads are more time-sensitive or switch from a full-truckload (FTL) to a less-than-truckload (LTL) choice to make the most of existing routes that fit their needs. In doing so, they will be assured of paying the correct price supported by the amount of service needed. This can be where cloud-based systems will be beneficial for door, slot and vehicle management alongside determining warehouse management.

8. Amplification of Cybersecurity for Data Protection

Cybersecurity is critical to protecting networks from cyberattacks, which be a dominant threat to future and current supply chain trends, worldwide. The explosion of information and data-driven organizations is creating more areas of vulnerability. This interconnection means supply chain partners can accidentally expose one another and their customers to privacy breaches, fraud and worse. Expect greater collaboration when safeguarding networks, devices, people and programs in 2022. Companies will emphasize bringing cyber security beyond just their corporate IT systems into their factories and warehouses’ operational technology (OT) environments this year. Additionally, more organizations will favour investing in redundancy, firewalls, advanced anti-hacking technologies, and employee training.

9. Increased Automation to Cut Back Manual Tasks

Almost every link within the supply chain, ranging from booking to settlement, can enjoy some sort of automation within the system. At a high level, automating manual tasks allows companies with reducing manpower, freeing up teams to specialize in high-level strategic work and productivity instead of repetitive tasks. Specifically, time-consuming methods including setting appointments, checking shipment status, and generating invoices will be automated, which will allow companies to handle the next volume of shipments more efficiently. Also, manual errors and leakages will be avoided if repetitive, tedious yet crucial operations are automated.

10. Customer-centricity to Get Prominence

Customer-centricity is on the minds of supply chain professionals everywhere, as consumer expectations still expand and folks, nowadays, demand ethical, sustainable business practices. Managing a successful supply chain would force upskilling talent with greater cross-functional and analytical skills so people have the training to support these new levels of customer-centricity. Those supply chain management trends that find ways to fulfil today’s escalating and intense customer expectations at less cost will prevail and continue soaring.

The latest technology in supply chain management can enhance and improve the processes and even help build a symbiotic relationship with the customers. In times of pandemic, the latest technology in supply chain management can make a difference in conducting logistics operations successfully. Cargo Flash is helping adopt a broad and holistic perspective when applying technology for data mining, visibility tools, autonomous transportation, and enhancing customer retention.

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