The Indian supply chain industry is as dynamic as it is volatile. It’s not easy to reach a population of over 1.3 billion people daily. The introduction of new technologies and business models is also a contributing factor in the rapid shifts in the national and global supply chain trends.
With this amount of population, forming a strategy can be tough. Hence, supply chain managers need to stay ahead of the trend to form relevant strategies to keep the chain running smoothly. This blog provides a list of the latest trends in supply chain management which can help supply chain managers improve their planning and execution processes.
Here Are Some Supply Chain Trends That You Need To Know About
1. The influence of digitisation
New technologies and software have continued to digitise the corporate systems of companies. It will continue to grow and ensure an easy and transparent work environment amongst employees. Digitalisation has also helped organisations to create digital manufacturing eco-systems. This has helped e-SCM (Electronic Supply Chain Management) to improve revenue generation.
Digitisation has also brought safety factors where companies can protect their data and store large amounts of it safely. Thanks to software development, operations and team management have now become seamless. Digital transformation allows employees to keep track of activities and follow up wherever needed.
2. Omnichannel disruption
Omnichannel is taking over the traditional multi-channel distribution approach across the world. The integrated approach to buying things in a single place is becoming increasingly popular, whether online or offline. The reason for this is the rise of demand by people.
Omnichannel requires a high level of logistics and supply prowess. Businesses will have to rethink a lot if they want to switch from multi-channel to omnichannel supply. Omnichannel distribution is beneficial for both the consumers and the distributors. Consumers can easily access the products, customise their orders, and get quick delivery. Simultaneously, suppliers’ revenue increases and costs go down, leading to more profits.
3. E-commerce boom will not stop
The rise of e-commerce stores in India has been a catalyst in revolutionizing the logistics and supply sector. With the e-commerce sector predicted to grow at an annual rate of 51%, the supply chain will see a major shift from brick-and-mortar supply to dedicated online deliveries soon.
According to experts, the e-commerce sector can make the supply chain industry more efficient and cost-effective. The high demand for e-commerce products is a leading cause of the cost-effectiveness of the industry. However, this is also forcing the supply chain managers to adapt to new means, such as easy returns.
4. Upgraded real-time tracking
Real-time tracking has become even more efficient than before. Where people could track shipments in real-time through apps before, companies can now handle the entire supply chain management using real-time location, shipment, storage monitoring and warehouse tracking. This will make scheduling and deliveries even more efficient.
The shipment tracking detail needs to be updated frequently for the most accurate tracking. A logistics company, even those providing home-shifting services or office-shifting services should opt for real-time tracking shipment. As the industry shifts towards a customer-focused approach, this has become a norm.
5. Customer-centric supply
Modern customers are becoming increasingly demanding for certain products. Many companies are targeting and creating micro-segments for customers for specific delivery locations. For example, there is a rise in demand for herbal and cruelty-free products in South Bombay, so companies are creating micro-segments for deliveries.
Customer-centric supply is forcing the supply chain to offer better service to customers, evaluate delivery risks, create opportunities for new orders, and manage bottlenecks in relation to customer demands. As the volatility of the market is always high, becoming customer-centric also helps to stay updated with the consumer’s changing needs.
6. The Role Of Logistics Companies
Logistics play a huge role in the chain, it’s the veins that pump blood to the heart and without proper logistics, the supply chain of any company would fall.
With the rising trends in supply chain management, many logistics firms have upped their game. More and more companies are embracing technical advancements to make processes and deliveries smooth.
7. Artificial Intelligence and Automation
Artificial intelligence has become more popular than ever and is widely considered to be used in supply chain management. According to a report, about 85% of companies surveyed have either already adopted AI solutions or plans to do so in the near future.
AI can facilitate automation which further helps to improve productivity. Automation can help you stay relevant and competitive in your niche, helping your business to survive in a competitive market. Several companies are looking to streamline their supply chain with the help of AI as consumers want easy ordering and returns.
8. Use of IoT
IoT (Internet of Things) is a network of physical objects that are digitally connected to the internet via wifi, Bluetooth or any other platform. IoT devices are capable of providing more oversight in operations. IoT devices are taking over a majority of the process handling tasks as they offer automation and improved management.
Some of the several benefits of IoT include warehouse management, fleet tracking, inventory control, and even mechanical maintenance. Industrial IoT is already altering the state of the industry. IoT can be operated alongside other devices to track, forecast, and even manage.
9. Increased Visibility
Improvement in supply chain management visibility is a priority for several organisations in 2024. Supply chain visibility refers to the ability to track different goods which are in transit. This can help the suppliers to find poor-quality products in transit and replace them, improving customer satisfaction.
The reason for improving visibility can be different for different organisations. A smaller company should try to enhance customer experience and satisfaction. While a medium-sized organisation should focus on supply chain resilience and agility. Larger supply chains while still being able to stay relevant should focus on improving visibility.
10. Circular Supply Chain
One of the future supply chain trends that you could see grow in 2024 is sustainability. The circular supply chain process is a leading concept which involves recycling raw materials and introducing discarded products for recycling. It is called the circular supply chain as the materials go from manufacturing to distribution to use, and then back to manufacturing.
This type of supply chain is not only beneficial for the environment but also beneficial for the organisation. For one, reusing materials can reduce costs and as a majority of the consumers are choosing sustainable products, it will also give manufacturers an edge over competitors.
11. Cloud-Based Solutions
Software as a service or SaaS for short is a business model which allows users to rent the necessary software, without committing to it. SaaS models are very convenient, reliable, secure, and scalable for supply chain management.
Saas is a crucial element of global supply chains and one of the latest supply chain trends that provides efficient solutions. As the technology evolves, we can see even more improvements and usage of SaaS in the supply chain.
12. Risk Management and Resiliency
Risk management and resiliency are becoming increasingly popular among supply chain managers. The supply chain industry is very volatile and hence, managers need to plan for risk management and how to bounce back from tough situations.
Several risk management processes such as scenario planning, risk assessment and risk mitigation can help to keep the company out of a serious threat in case of market volatility. A resilient supply chain will be able to handle disruptions and unexpected events.
The above supply chain trends of 2024 are a sign of a constantly evolving system. You can implement these trends in your organisation to create an agile and resilient supply chain. As new technologies emerge every day, it is important to stay updated with these trends to stay competitive.
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