Top 3 Supply Chain Trends to be aware of in 2021

The world of supply chain management is evolving all the time, and the worldwide pandemic has only accelerated certain trends creating change in the market globally. Supply chains are a crucial part of many businesses today and due to the COVID-19 pandemic many face the fallout of the pandemic, with new practices and procedures in place. This testing time has made it even more crucial for businesses to stay abreast of the latest trends within supply chain management.

Staying up to date with current trends will ensure that you are resilient against any outside threats or changes within the ever changing landscape. Supply Chain Management is dependent on the ability to make efficient decisions and quickly adapt to stay on top of business trends. The digitalisation of the supply chain has been crucial during the global pandemic, enabling fast response, end to end tracking and optimal warehouse management and therefore many new trends rely on a strong digital infrastructure. 

Below are some of the key trends in supply chain management (SCM) this year:

  1. The Internet of Things (IoT)

The internet of things (IoT) refers to the billions of devices worldwide which are now connected to the internet, which all collect and share data. It is now possible to turn almost anything into part of IoT due to the advancement of microchip technology. 

Understanding how to use the IoT to the advantage of your business is now crucial, and it is being used increasingly in Warehouse automation. By optimising this technology businesses can gain valuable insight and feedback in order to improve their supply chain methods and provide clearer visibility to customers. 

This is considered one of the most vital supply chain trends at the moment due to the ability to connect businesses to customers digitally as well as transferring data and information efficiently. This technology in warehouses can improve inventory, delivery and improvements or maintenance. 

  1. Elastic Logistics

The fluctuation of markets can greatly impact businesses especially during unforeseen circumstances such as a pandemic or global crisis. Maintaining a supply chain which is flexible and responsive to swift changes will ensure it is robust and that businesses will be able to survive difficult times. 

Elastic logistic trends allow for a more responsive supply chain, with the ability to expand or shrink accordingly depending on current demands. The flexibility of this approach means that companies can adjust and manage any potential issues or threats with minimal disruption and hopefully improve business performance through optimisation of processes. 

  1. Green Logistics

Sustainability and a greener business approach are still very much hot topics and a top supply chain trend. The consumer is looking to be more environmentally friendly when they shop and therefore offering a more sustainable supply chain will make businesses a more desirable place to shop. 

Essential factors within this trend are lower consumption of gas, water and electricity and also a rise in the use of electric vehicles, all of which affect every aspect of the supply chain from storage to distribution. Using these methods can also have a greater impact on profits overall through customer loyalty and savings made on more eco friendly processes.

With the rapid growth of ecommerce, supply chain trends are constantly evolving. The added impact of coronavirus has only accelerated the need for a flexible, networked and sustainable supply chain. Any unforeseen outside threat can cause immense disruption in the continued management and can therefore affect productivity and profitability if workflow is not as it should be. Adhering to the above trends can only help businesses to be more prepared and sustain efficiency in order to thrive even against the greatest of disruptions. 

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