The supply chain is constantly evolving. Consider how far we have come since the early days of the assembly line to today where we utilize advanced robotics and even drones and autonomous vehicles. Here are seven trends in the supply chain that are changing the industry.
Digital assets within the supply chain are redesigning the industry. The Internet of Things (IoT) is a system of interrelated technologies that continue to reduce the need for human input within the supply chain. Computing devices are managing everything from inventory to fleet routes.
As the supply chain becomes more and more digitized, we can expect to see even greater efficiencies in the future.
Artificial intelligence will also continue to play a larger role within the supply chain. This includes devices like stock picking robots to deliveries by autonomous vehicles.
While once very expensive, the cost of such devices is coming down and as it does AI devices will become increasingly common in the supply chain.
3. Stronger Collaboration
As technology becomes more integrated, it will be more common and more essential for suppliers, shippers, and retailers to collaborate with one another. Through stronger collaboration, these partners will be better equipped to identify and mitigate risks within the supply chain.
It will help to avoid stock shortages as well as oversupply and can even help to generate referrals from happy customers.
4. Knowledge Work will Go Global
Almost half of the jobs within the supply chain involve knowledge work such as planning, analytics and procurement processing. Since this type of work can be done from anywhere in the world, this will allow for more global competition in the logistics industry.
Companies will be able to have their headquarters in one country while being able to perform their analytics and planning from other parts of the world.
5. Circular Supply Chain
Until recently, supply chains have been largely linear. In other words, products would go from the raw material stage to the end user and that was that. Modern logistics however now has an increased focus on a circular supply chain.
In this approach, used products are recycled back into raw materials to be reused or repurposed for greater sustainability.
6. Wearable Devices
Wearable devices are not just for people who want to “track their steps” – they can also be incredibly useful in the supply chain. Warehouse managers, for example, may use wearables to track inventory and collect data. Wearables may also be used to monitor the health of drivers and warehouse workers (for example, to alert them of exhaustion).
7. Customer Segmentation
In order to serve customers in the best possible way, more companies are using a strategy called customer segmentation. This segments customers into various groups using highly specific data about what triggers each group to make their purchase decisions.
By using this direct-to-consumer approach, businesses can better target each customer and dramatically increase their profits.
At Royal Supply Chain, we pride ourselves on keeping up with the latest trends in the supply chain so that we can better serve our customers. Contact us today for help with your freight shipping needs.