The saying goes- the only thing staying the same is that everything keeps changing. And the statement becomes especially true with supply chain management. It’s crucial to track the 2021 trends in the supply chain needed for success. Advanced solutions that mirror these trends will enable success in the coming year. During a year of significant disruptions, that sentiment holds extra true. According to SupplyChainBrain, “The supply-chain industry stands amidst unprecedented times. However, the future holds great promise. By embracing innovation in the form of various technologies, the industry is all set to face the challenges in the times to come and help businesses achieve greater operational efficiency.” Change is inevitable and necessary to stay with the times and ahead of the competition. The 2021 trends in the supply chain become the building blocks of successful shipping managers, so let’s take a stroll into five more trends to start thinking about now.
1.Sustainability is Essential for Success Moving Into 2021
One central point of consideration when discussing 2021 trends in the supply chain that often comes up is green logistics. Besides benefiting society as a whole and protecting the environment and natural resources, sustainable models also become cost-effective and improve customer loyalty. Millennials find it trendier to continue choosing companies supporting green initiatives and ones with environmentally friendly protocols. Trends have shown an overall shift among the broad customer base today towards a more eco-aware business model.
2.Machine Learning and Technological Advances Rule
Few would argue that technology has brought about many of the current trends within supply chains, making everything more streamlined and efficient. Large-scale automation, along with machine learning, takes things to a whole new level. Rather than employees spending hours on repetitive tasks, AI, automation, and smart technology can handle much of the mundane work. Such improvements within the 2021 trends in the supply chain include improved inventory management, greater productivity levels, faster order completion, and improved customer experience.
3.2021 Will Likely See the Spread of SCaaS
A growing number of supply chain businesses handle much of their base activities in-house. However, there’s an increasing trend among many companies and managers to promote the Supply Chain-as-a-Service (SCaaS) business model. The demands for security, transparency, analytics, real-time analysis, flexible deliveries, and streamlined processes will only continue to grow as the new year rolls around. Being informed and ahead of supply chain trends will help minimize supply chain disruptions, so staying on top of these 2021 trends in the supply chain market becomes essential.
4.Agile Supply Chains Are the Growing Trend
2020 has taught the supply-chain industry agility and adaptability. The supply chain network of any shipper or forwarder needs enough flexibility to handle unforeseen obstacles, challenges, delays, and problems. An agile system makes everything easier for managers and providers to navigate scarcity and disruption within the marketplace and changes to customer demands. Supply chain managers can predict and identify potential problems and solutions early on by paying attention to the 2021 trends in the supply chain marketplace. And that inherently means using analytics and deep learning to unlock new value too.
5.Customer-Centered Services Will Grow in Value in 2021
End-to-end visibility is the ultimate goal for supply chain managers and partners. Customer-directed service also grows into a critical focus for suppliers, manufacturers, drivers, and team members. That’s because focus allows for better service from start to finish. The clients’ demands change by season and entail that supply chain management must have adaptability and ease of execution. Knowing what the customer needs and ensuring satisfaction from start to finish will become the name of the game in 2021.