Predicting the Unpredictable Future of Supply Chain – Part 1

Predicting the Unpredictable Future of Supply Chain – Part 1

There are some radical regional, national and global supply chain shifts going on right now–many of which will have a long-term impact on the future of supply chain.

In the first of our blog series on predicting the supply chain’s unpredictable future, we’ll look at a few trends that stand out.

Green logistics is on many companies’ radars as they make decisions around transportation and warehousing approaches, among others. For example, some companies use warehouse technology like advanced energy management systems to monitor utility usage and avoid wasted resources. Many shippers and carriers are switching to electric and solar-powered vehicles to reduce their supply chain’s overall carbon footprint. Sustainability initiatives pay off in terms of $ saved and profit, and customer loyalty.

We are also beginning to see linear supply chains replaced by circular supply chains, which involve breaking down products and turning them back into raw materials. This approach can make sense for manufacturers who want to thwart rising raw materials costs, address volatile availability, and refurbish discarded products for resale. As a bonus, these companies spend less on raw materials and create less waste as stricter government regulations on recycling and waste disposal kick in.

Meanwhile, as the supply chain adds components, companies build partnerships and complete integrations with third-party services. These partnerships benefit shippers who use a combination of sea and land transportation since they reduce delivery times and improve customer service.

We’ll also see more supply chain managers seek partnerships with third-party logistics providers (3PLs) with specialized 3PL-based technologies, who offer inbound and outbound freight management and can handle order fulfillment on any channel.

And while the growth of multi-country operations has slowed down or even reversed for some companies, most companies still need more knowledge workers who can handle complex processes like analytics, procurement processing, and provision of services. The emerging U.S. labor workforce lacks the training and expertise to handle these supply chain processes, so U.S. companies continue to try to outsource these jobs and expand operations to other countries. For its part, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that U.S. demand for logisticians and logistics managers with grow at 4% until 2029.

Lastly, many companies handle their supply chain activities in-house, so we may see more businesses adopting supply-chain-as-a-service (SCaaS) business models and outsourcing activities like manufacturing, logistics, and inventory management.

Many companies will turn to a supply chain management system to make strategic decisions to improve the supply chain. Meanwhile, advanced digital control towers provide an end-to-end view of the supply chain, and cloud technology allows instant access to data.

That’s it for this first blog in this series. Look for more trends in part two of Predicting the Unpredictable Future of Supply Chain! Supply chains are the lifeblood of businesses today. Keeping all supply chain components running as smoothly as possible means your business can overcome changing consumer demands, transportation constraints, and supply chain disruptions. The BrillDog Supply Chain Management System can help your small to medium-sized business meet today’s challenges and help you thrive in the future. Contact BrillDog today.

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