Future Supply Chain Trends Worth Keeping an Eye On
IT's Always a Competition
Market competition is a serious thing, and companies need to be aware of their competitors in order to stay alive on the market. However, if a company wants to get ahead of their competitors, they need to think further, because, in the volatile and rapidly changing market environment of today - Competition is no longer between companies, it’s between Supply Chains. The future of Supply Chain Management provides companies with the opportunity to transform their processes into a competitive advantage, on that note, the key thing today is innovation. If companies do not keep an eye out for the newest Supply Chain trends, such as, Real Time Data Visibility or Block Chains, they might find themselves disrupted out of the market, or even worse - out of business.
Of course, many companies still need to solve their day to day supply chain optimization issues before jumping right into the newest of the new in Supply Chain Management. So, we encourage you to take advantage of the known best in practice methodologies, in combination with new technology trends – because, if implemented correctly – It will do wonders for your business!
So, what are the newest supply chain trends companies should keep an eye on?
Real time data visibility
Instead of afterthought, a real time data visibility will be the proactive standpoint for supply chain managers. Processes and systems will be developed and intergraded in order to gain greater visibility into their supply chains. Real time Data Visibility will improve forecast accuracy, and thereby prevent overstock or out-of-Stock situations, by enabling immediate adjustment of operation or information sharing, shorten delivery time, reduce waste, increase value generation and customer satisfaction. Businesses are progressively investing and implementing IT technologies in order to better capture and analyze data as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Originally developed for Bitcoin, a digital currency, but is now finding its way into other uses. It is the beginning of the new internet and it allows digital information to be distributed as a list of records called blocks, between members of the chain. Each transaction creates a new block that is added to the chain so everyone within it get almost instant access to the newest information. Block Chain provides encrypted and decentralized way to store digital information and could potentially digitally disrupt various of industries.
Since the information on the Block Chain is decentralized and therefore has no single point of origin, making the information safer and more resistant to hacking.
The block chain can be made public or private and users anonymous or non-anonymous making it suitable for public record keeping as well as information keeping and sharing within a company’s supply chain. With more transparency into all operations, processes and transactions, as well as, almost immediate verification and update of information, supply chain management will become increasingly more efficient. Real time data can guide managerial action and allow quick responses to different situations, optimize the supply chain and increase customer satisfaction.
However, this technology isn’t without its flaws and still has a long way to go before it becomes the dominant technology leading the transformation of businesses.
Service Chains will take over from Product Chains
All companies exist because they are providing something that their customers need. But customers are becoming increasingly demanding, they don’t only want to purchase your basic products, or have you satisfy their primary needs, they want everything that comes with it in order to fully satisfy their entire needs. In that sense, there has been a paradigm shift from where a service supports the product, towards where service is the product.
A service should bring value, rely on a business case and be customer oriented. IT plays a significant role there.
All the newest Supply Chain Trends rely heavily upon technology. Technology is what enables businesses to realize and capture opportunities and consequently gaining competitive advantage. Customers and consumers will increasingly expect to buy products bundled with services. Supply Chains should therefore be built to provide service and value to customers and should be able to handle incoming demands from customers. If your customers need to purchase parts of service from others, they are more likely to move their entire trade over to your competitors.
Elastic Supply Chains
Elastic is the new Lean – Until now, companies have focused on eliminating waste by standardizing and streamlining their processes. A detailed upfront planning has played a major role in that sense. Today however, in order for Companies to win, they will have to become more and more flexible. Companies have to prepare for a growing unpredictability in demand, increasingly demanding customers, changes in cost and legislations and rapid technological advancements. In response, companies will have to develop more elastic strategies for their Supply Chain.
Companies willing to develop elasticity within their Supply Chain rely heavily upon technology to help them capture real life data, analyse it and use the results to respond to supply chain interruptions in time. Luckily, IT began focusing on Agility about 20 years ago. Being Agile means, being able to sense environmental change and respond quickly to them. Due to that focus, many of today’s technological advancements and IT strategies have their roots attributable to Agility, allowing companies to take advantage of IT’s decades work, acquiring the knowledge and techniques and enhancing their own abilities to become truly Elastic and Agile.
As can be seen IT is the main driving force of the future Supply Chain. But for companies to fully be able to exploit the advantages of IT, they first need to align it with their Business. IT is a fundamental part of today’s business operation and if businesses and IT do not adapt to each other, it is very likely the business might Die!
Please tell us what you think!
We at CoreMotif have years of experience and a deep knowledge in supply chain management, IT and how to align IT with your core business. If there is anything you think we might be able to help you with, don’t hesitate to contact us.