In today’s global market, supply chains are not only complex but also experience regular disruptions. The impact of the Covid 19 pandemic was huge on supply chain with companies facing threat and discontinuity in supply of products across regions. While previous supply chain efforts were mostly focused on quality assurance and cost efficiency, in the last couple of years supply chain management leaders of global powerhouses have felt the urgent need for their supply chain initiatives to have a greater focus on building resilience.
Some of the major areas of risk in supply chain are fluctuations in prices and availability of raw materials, fluctuations in currency, volatility in fuel prices, changes in market, rising labor costs, environmental disasters such as the pandemic, supplier or partner breakdown, shift in technology, geo-political uncertainties and unplanned IT disruptions. While many of these risk factors may vary across companies and industries, it is important to do an analysis of risks that could potentially apply to your business and industry, and identify the areas of risk across the supply chain.
Once your organization conducts a vulnerability assessment and identifies the key risks of your supply chain as well as critical vendors, you can start on the path of having a strategic plan to build resilience against those risks. With a new and integrated approach to risk management and focus on continuously identifying, assessing, managing and monitoring supply chain challenges and opportunities, businesses can build supply chain resilience and command a competitive edge and market dominance.
Supply chains of the future will be driven by customer needs and will adapt in an agile way depending on what these needs are and how they change with time. Supply chains will have to evolve in order to fulfil these changing customer demands and become more flexible, convenient and transparent. To be able to deliver outstanding customer experiences, businesses will have to depend on data and leverage digital platforms to integrate the data across the organization and with the help of analytics draw insights for better decision making.
The future of supply chain is not only in building resilience but also in innovation that helps to create new business models and drive competitive advantage. Some of the key areas that will redefine the future of supply chain are:
Innovation in commerce: According to a 2023 Gartner Board of Directors Survey on Business Strategy in an Uncertain World, business expansion and diversification has emerged as a top priority for leaders this year and a shift in commercial innovation from operational excellence to impact strategic outcomes is the area of focus for chief supply chain officers in leading companies.
Focus on sustainability: Leading the future supply chain includes building capabilities for achievement of sustainability goals. For organisations that are looking at supply chain innovation must develop a roadmap for sustainability and embed it into their supply chain operations all through the value chain. Today, supply chain management leaders are prioritizing tracking greenhouse gas emissions and circular economy transition.
Real-time decision execution: Although supply chains are required to quickly react to changing conditions, real-time execution of decisions is far from reality for most organisations. This is where digital technology plays an important role. As opposed to constraints from legacy systems, modern, cloud-based platforms enable supply chains to become adept in making decisions in real time.
By leveraging technologies such as digital supply chain twin, advanced analytics, AI and machine learning and process mining, organisations are equipped to execute real-time decisions based on real-time data.
Human-centric approach: The supply chain of the future is intelligent, predictive and self-healing where decisions are made in real time based on real-time data analysis. With technologies such as AI, machine learning, blockchain, operational robotics and so on coming into play to make businesses efficient, cost-effective and innovative, organisations need to retain the digital talent for business activities to scale. The way forward is to focus on establishing and maintaining a sustainable talent pipeline with a solid employee value proposition and continuous upskilling.
Creating supply chains of the future involves adoption of modern and innovative digital technologies that can transform your supply chain operations quickly and with ease. If you wish to know more about how cloud ERP platforms can begin an end-to-end transformation of your supply chain, get in touch with us here.