Covid-19 has changed the way many businesses operate, and new trends are emerging daily. Many industries have sustained massive losses and others have made huge gains. In fact, entire supply chains have transformed in new and interesting ways.
Here’s a list of key trends that will take over in the supply chain industry in the coming year. In modern times, the supply chain is an essential part of every organization. We expect a year full of supply chain improvement and evolution. Let’s jump right in.
Artificial intelligence (AI) will become a primary driver in the ever-growing supply chain industry. AI algorithms have the capability to automate basic operations by processing data from previous operations. AI has the potential to save a lot of time and remove a substantial amount of human error. These two improvements will make supply chains much more efficient.
AI can also decrease the amount of human capital needed for performing both basic and complicated tasks. Because of this, the potential for AI is enormous. It can help businesses identify patterns in data and give managers access to a range of useful insights. As businesses take advantage of AI, operations in the supply chain will become more accurate and efficient.
Robotic automation, including drones and driverless vehicles, can improve the supply chain by streamlining logistics operations. In the coming year, some executives will start using self-driving drones to make small goods deliveries.
In 2019, nearly half of U.S. companies spent up to $869 million on at least 16,400 robots. Robotic automation is playing a massive role in the supply chain and supply chain management companies.
Like AI and robotic automation, organizations are increasingly interested in using IoT devices to improve visibility. The Internet of Things will benefit the supply chain industry in many ways. Companies will be able to fit sensors into vehicles, warehouses, and outlets to provide data that enhances visibility in inventory management, production, and maintenance.
End-to-end IoT services are rapidly being adopted by supply chain organizations. IoT will help increase transparency across the entire supply chain. Everything will be tracked in real time as GPS sensors are fitted in different kinds of transportation.
Sensors play a vital role in warehouses by providing visibility into inventory management. It will also play a large role in gauging demand for retailers, too.
Customers want same-day delivery of their products, but this level of speed and efficiency can be difficult to manage for logistics teams. This is where blockchain technology can help supply chain management.
Blockchain can help businesses eliminate intermediaries and communicate directly with potential customers. Blockchain technology can also assist in distributing data transparently. However, blockchain’s most significant advantage in supply chain management is that it offers complete protection for securing information. Because it’s decentralized, blockchain helps keep data protected from unwanted edits. Customers, shipping lines, logistics firms, and vendors can communicate over a single, protected platform where information is stored.
Thanks to the pandemic, the supply chain industry is becoming much more agile. Supply chains are becoming increasingly flexible, and they now have the ability to deal with changes, disruptions, and challenges that arise.
Thanks to AI and machine learning, many companies can adapt on the fly. Shipments are becoming more personalized as pre-orders specify exact requirements. As industries move forward, customers are becoming more prioritized. The ability to customize is becoming a total necessity. Companies are starting to build infrastructure that permits customized orders in the supply chain without adding any cost.
Automation is escalating in multiple ways. Along with AI and robotic automation, smart contracts are starting to emerge, too. Companies are starting to use smart contracts to settle payments with cryptocurrencies automatically, which removes the need for arbitration and makes the payment process much quicker.
Smart contracts are transaction protocols that are executed when required conditions are met. They can also be useful for generating invoices when shipments reach their destination. The most common use case, however, is when financial transactions are being performed between parties.
Customers are starting to expect better customer experience, and omnichannel can help by providing a quicker, more direct shopping experience. Omnichannel services will help customers as they shop online or in stores.
People want to purchase and receive goods as quickly as possible. This is why the demand for streamlined logistics is increasing every day. Omnichannel supply chains are helping customers get a smoother, more transparent experience.
As supply chain management teams become smaller, companies are starting to hire groups of skilled individuals who focus on making strategic, supply-chain-enhancing decisions.
Most businesses still manage their supply chains in-house. However, as trends and technologies evolve, many companies will adopt the ScaaS (supply chain as a service) business model. It’s a great way for companies to outsource logistics, inventory management, packing, and more.
As new technology emerges, processes will become both smarter and faster. If you follow the trends, your supply chain has the potential to become more sustainable and customer-centric. Trending technologies like IoT, AI, and blockchain can help simplify your current processes and automate your operations.
By staying updated and well-informed on evolving supply chain trends, you can stay flexible and adopt the technology that makes more sense for your business. As you do this, you will reduce supply chain disruptions. Ultimately, this knowledge will help your business boost efficiency and productivity.
With Cin7, you can get real-time inventory insights. You can also automate your purchase orders to avoid stockouts. Cin7 also integrates with 3PL providers to help you streamline your order fulfillment. Book a demo with our experts to learn more about using Cin7’s capabilities for scaling your operations.
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