If you are looking to expand your business and improve your customer service, the best way to do so is to optimize and improve your supply chain.
Properly optimized supply chain management is the critical factor in the success of any business dealing in logistics, with 70% of industry professionals believing that the supply chain will be a key factor of better customer service. (Source)
As technology grows and becomes more sophisticated, it is implemented more and more into supply chains. As the e-commerce world grows, a need for faster and more consistent deliveries has arisen. Thanks to the constant growth and implementation of technology in supply chain management, providing customers with the best possible delivery times is possible.
Each year new technology arrives and transforms the space to be more efficient and autonomous.
Throughout this article, we will highlight some of the newest supply chain trends that are becoming prominent in the industry.
What Is Supply Chain Management?
Supply chain management is the managing of products, from the manufacturer to the end-user; this includes the planning, optimizing, implementing, and monitoring of a supply chain and each of its parts.
Trends Shaping the Future of Supply Chain Management
As mentioned previously, constant improvements and ways of optimizing are implemented into the supply chain management, whether through new technology or new ways of using old practices.
Here are some of the more prominent supply chain management trends that are present in the industry right now:
Artificial Intelligence and Automation
Artificial intelligence and automation are being used more and more in supply chains to streamline tasks and create a more consistent turnover rate. While automation can assist with repetitive tasks, artificial intelligence will complete more complex tasks, making for a supply chain that is becoming more and more self-sufficient.
Automation and artificial intelligence are significantly improving assembly lines by removing any chance for variables or human error. Digital twin technology, a program that uses data to create simulations to predict how a product will perform, takes out the guesswork and allows businesses to plan and gather stats for later use.
There are numerous ways artificial intelligence and automation are improving the supply chain, with more emerging each year.
Blockchain is a technology growing in popularity rapidly, with every industry implementing it in some fashion. Blockchain’s primary purpose is for infallible traceability due to the digital ledger used to trace all transactions made through it. With this high level of traceability, supply chains will no longer be subjected to error, missing products, or any other potential mistakes that can come from human error. Blockchain can also provide payment to linked supply chain partners after their part of a chain of activities has been completed.
This relatively new technology has yet to be fully explored, but its potential to assist supply chains will be realized in time.
The digitization of a supply chain involves integrating a unified system to create an efficient, intelligent supply chain ecosystem that eliminates the need for silos and increases transparency and responsiveness. With digitization, manual processes will no longer be necessary, and multiple forms of organization to increase efficiency are possible. Digitization looks to create a paperless system and new techniques for modelling supply chain networks and uses data to create simulations to find new opportunities for optimization.
Each industry is trying to do their part to become more sustainable and help the environment, with supply chain being no different. There are countless ways businesses are becoming more sustainable, with their method of doing so coming down to how the business operates.
Whether it is an attempt to become zero-waste, a more sustainable manufacturing process, or any other method of reducing your carbon footprint, becoming more sustainable will require a complete overhaul of how your business conducts itself. You will need to rethink how you procure materials to how you transport your goods to the end-user.
The quest to make supply chains more sustainable will take some hard work and readjusting, but starting off small by making a less bulky and material heavy product is one way many companies are tipping their toes into more sustainable business practices.
The Internet of Things
The internet of things is a network of physical objects connected to the internet through software and sensors. The internet of things allows businesses to manage and monitor their inventory, automate the stocking of their products, and track deliveries in real-time. The sensors used to scan, catalogue and track physical objects also predict potential damage of equipment so parts can be ordered promptly.
Also, if implemented correctly, the internet of things can improve things such as fleet tracking, inventory control, technology and mechanical maintenance, warehouse management, and more.
The internet of things is already heavily involved in the supply chain industry, especially the logistics side. However, with more sophisticated applications being constantly introduced, its role will continue to grow in the coming years.
The supply chain management industry is rapidly growing and evolving more and more each year, with technology being at the forefront of the majority of these new implementations. With this steady growth, it is clear that the optimizations and improvements of supply chains will continue to change and evolve for the foreseeable future.
At FlexSpace Logistics, we offer comprehensive supply chain solutions across Canada, so regardless of the location of your business, we will have the resources to accommodate. We will handle your shipping and logistic needs with care so you can get back to the more pertinent aspects of your business.
If you’d like to get started, get a quote today, or contact one of our FlexSpace Logistics advisors to find the right solution for your business at 1-844-985-3539.