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5 Emerging Trends in Supply Chain Management

Michael Wilson | Mar 14, 2014

In the business world, lines and boundaries are constantly shifting, yet one thing remains evident; supply chain management continues to be one of the crucial elements of any ...

emerging supply chain management trends

In the business world, lines and boundaries are constantly shifting, yet one thing remains evident; supply chain management continues to be one of the crucial elements of any successful organization. The management of an interconnected network with emphasis on product and service package is changing and evolving at a staggering rate. It's important to understand the major trends and the management aspects that are working for successful companies.

Here are five trends that are becoming clearly evident in 2014:

1. Integrated Solutions 

While supply chains and large organizations understand the importance of integration, many fail to understand how to implement solutions into their supply chain. This year, managers will be looking for a flexible infrastructure with an interface that is easily access and has diver communication protocols. With an effective, highly integrated supply chain system, managers will be able to improve process visibility which in turn leads to better and faster decision making. Integrated systems will allow managers to also view all of their aggregated data easily and will be able to identify any nuances or problems within the supply chain. 


Learn: Environmental Sustainability: Green Supply Chain Management


 

Competition in business is supply chain versus supply chain, according to Stanford Professor Hau Lee. Brand owners are utilizing outsourced manufacturing possibilities and distribution, and it's clear that a business with an effective trading network will profit. In volatile industries, it's important to use collective knowledge of a trading network and its supply chain.


2. Data Collecting

Fast data in the supply distribution aspect of a business is constantly changing. This data relates to the changing of forecasts, orders, shipments, and inventory data. An organization should have the ability to act on this information in real time. Fast data has to be managed properly in terms of source, authenticity, and timeliness. Understand and initiate how to find that one part of logistics that could negatively affect the entire organization and figure out how to fix it quickly and cheaply with saving opportunities.

3. A Transformation

A supply chain is effective when everyone is collaborating to accomplish a common goal; meeting the needs of customers and achieving lasting sustainability. It's important to make sure that a collaborative effort to achieve a goal is also profitable in the long run. Social networking is so prevalent and is revolutionizing the way businesses work. Organizations that are looking at the problems at every part of a supply chain, from logistics and operations to supply distribution, are finding ways to solve them quickly. Supply chains that are using the wide variety of social tools now available will have a serious advantage over other companies who are not embracing the social networking changes.


4. Supply Chain Control Towers

Supply Chain Control Towers is a core competency in end-to-end collaboration and process management, according to Mark Woodward, CEO of E2open. When this idea is put into use, supply chains will be able to use people, processes, and advancements in technology to directly benefit the entire organization. More companies will begin to adopt the idea of creating a Supply Chain Control tower, and this is because it provides tools for operation and financial evaluations of corrections in the chain. It is also a system that is able to enhance decision executions.


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5. Dynamic Cost

Cost has always been the deciding factor in decision making and performance management in terms of supply chain management. What makes this aspect of management so unique is that the cost of products delivered to individual customers is not standard.  A good way to measure this effectively is to look at the total landed cost of shipping and distribution. In 2013, companies will start to implement dynamic costing based on real-time visibility. Companies that are able to see the total cost of delivering to different customers in real time will be able to make correct decisions in relation to creating more profitable strategies.

Risk Management Goes Dynamic

Much has changed in today's business world. The way you went about managing your company is vastly different – and those who still subscribe to the old way of doing things will be left behind. That means, businesses will begin to adopt more dynamic methods of risk management in today's integrated supply chains. A wide variety of risk management tools are available that will be able to better identify possible weaknesses and hypothetical problems. This will mitigate downside when problems inevitably occur.

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