The world’s vision of the supply chain is being reshaped by shortages and extended lead times in practically every retail business. People seldom considered the supply chain before the crisis and Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The supply chain, on the other hand, has become a topic of conversation in both mainstream and social media.
This tidal surge of attention brings transformation and, with it, new challenges and opportunities for business leaders and organizations alike. Some argue that supply chain management has undergone a fundamental shift.
When we look to the future, developing resilience, staying relevant to consumers, and incorporating sustainability throughout will be crucial, as future supply chains must be ready to foresee and lead through upheaval.
We need to reassess our working practices, which we’ve been following blindly until we struck a wall. COVID-19 taught us that brick walls are never far away and may be discovered in the most unexpected locations. For now, all we can do is try to anticipate when it will appear and quickly adjust to avoid hitting it head-on. We may therefore conclude that in 2022, there will be a slew of noteworthy developments worth noting.
1. Businesses Need AI to Take The Next Big Leap
Businesses are quickly learning the necessity of investing in and establishing intelligent supply chains following the harsh lessons of the last almost 24 months. Since practically every company has been collecting data for years, they are now aiming to harness the insights they can acquire from throughout their value chains, transitioning from discrete, point-solutions to a more advanced platform approach to gaining supply chain agility and resilience.
As a result, companies search for more practical, realistic, and transparent solutions to supply chain concerns as they seek innovative methods to satisfy demand cost-effectively.
2. Not Scaling When Strained Out
We may expect the demand for home delivery services to outpace our capability for delivering them continuously in the future.
For most firms, the immediate response to a crisis like this is to double down and deliver. How reasonable is it for a company to continually push the limits of its capabilities? When it comes down to it, every human and machine has a point where they can no longer go any further. This holds for all resources utilized along the whole value chain. We can all work harder and beyond our capabilities for a short time; however, it’s not sustainable as a long-term solution, only as a short-term response to a sudden need. To be a long-term solution, we must learn to do more at a viable pace.
To sum it up, the key to staying ahead of today’s never-ending demand isn’t to work more, but rather to work smarter.
3. Sustainable Practices Are Integrated Into Businesses
Eco-friendly customers no longer see sustainability in the supply chain as a bonus or a gimmick to win them over. For the supply chain, it has become an essential aspect of company management. Organizations are incorporating sustainability efforts into their overall strategy to comply with environmental rules. Sustainability is increasingly being integrated into the core of supply chain management for more reasons than just customer demand and regulatory compliance.
“Planet, people, and profit” are now the three pillars of sustainability, according to the industry. Because corporations see the financial benefits of being ecologically and morally responsible, they’re taking action. Improved operational efficiency and lower operating expenses are among the many advantages of modern technology, as well as decreased energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
More than half of firms in a new Blue Yonder research invested in sustainability, despite the pandemic and other crises that plagued the industry last year. An earlier Blue Yonder report from 2021 revealed that 10% of organizations had reduced their attention on sustainability, while the latest study found that 58% of respondents had recently invested. Logistics is still dealing with significant shortages and limits, but organizations are still looking to implement sustainable practices despite these challenges.
4. Data Never Lies – Know Your Facts
The American Trucking Association (ATA) claimed a shortfall of 80,000 truckers in the United States a few months ago, a vital cause of the deteriorating supply chain turmoil. According to some, the pandemic-induced lockdowns caused truckers to flee their workplaces searching for work and income. However, statistics show that current trucking employment levels have hardly changed from pre-pandemic levels.
There is a new need, which necessitates a different strategy for management to deal with it. What’s certain is that the difference is more of a natural one, and the market is quickly catching up. Overworking an already weary staff, on the other hand, is neither a smart answer nor a long-term strategy.
An ideal solution meets all the criteria. Because of this, firms making use of intelligent technology are already making progress in tackling the shortage problem and coming out on top financially.
5. Customer Loyalty is Irreplaceable
It’s not an option to run out of goods due to typical supply chain concerns. Customer dissatisfaction can’t be used as an excuse, no matter how truthful it may be. The only way to avoid losing potential income is to handle order fulfillment in a proactive, demand-driven manner.
Customers are significantly simpler to keep than they are to get; therefore, the more accurate your demand sensing and planning, the greater your prospects of securing long-term success. You only need to look at the data that’s there in front of you to get started. It has all the information you require.
6. Avoid The Chain Reaction
You must resist the urge to overorder, overproduce, and overstock at all costs. A self-destructive attitude puts pressure on every part of the value chain, from suppliers to manufacturers to distributors. As a result, consumers may expect to pay more, find products in shorter supply, and wait longer for deliveries.
Consumer demand is dwindling as quickly as toilet paper in the early stages of a pandemic because manufacturers are overly preoccupied with the wrong things and hence oversupply the market with goods that no one wants. Suddenly, you’re clinging to the ground like a piece of Scotch tape.
7. End-to-end reform of operations is necessary
The government, customers, and corporate management are all interested in changing the supply chain. Experts, on the other hand, advocate a focus on optimizing the entire supply chain process from beginning to finish, rather than focusing on a single problem at a time.
Supply chain data, exceptionally high-quality data, can help close the gaps we observe today. However, this information must be disseminated throughout the operation. Breaking down barriers and exchanging data are two of the most important tasks for supply chain managers. Customers will have a better experience if the supply chain is transparent and collected at the front and back-office levels.
8. Analyze, Prioritize, Optimize
Businesses can no longer afford to operate in the dark. Understanding precisely what their consumers are looking for is the first step in determining how much of this demand they can provide given their available resources. Prioritizing these activities and optimizing them is the second step.
Because this seems so daunting, it isn’t. In the future, businesses will no longer have to rely solely on hindsight and prayer, thanks to sophisticated supply networks. They can use genuine data to get a two-for-one deal: achieving their company goals and satisfying their customers’ expectations.
There are many moving pieces in the modern supply chain, but Cooperative Computing Supply Chain solutions may help businesses succeed. Every step of the process will be explained to you by our experts, starting with value chain mapping and ending with on-time delivery to all of your customers. Let’s connect!