2020 supply chain trends

While 2020 came with issues we couldn’t predict even with all the technology and data we have access to; what we can predict is certain trends we expect to see this year.

Supply Chain Digitization
Digitization of the supply chain, encompassing all efforts to integrate corporate systems into a unified whole as well as implementing new digital technologies, will continue to be a priority. The goal of digitization, as described by PwC, is a smart, efficient supply chain ecosystem that demolishes silos, creates transparency and enhances responsiveness.

Supply Chain Solutions Will Continue to Move to the Cloud
While many organizations still rely on legacy on-premise supply chain software, the future is in the cloud. Available in many forms, including Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS), supply chain cloud computing offers flexibility, scalability and a global reach while doing away with the need to maintain extensive, expensive on-premise computing infrastructure.

Omnichannel Supply Chains Become the Norm
In response to customer demand, businesses will make big strides towards offering a true omnichannel buying experience. Allowing customers to seamlessly shop online or in brick-and-mortar stores, omnichannel supply chains place greater demands on logistic and supply chains.

Sustainability Is Becoming Essential
Sustainability has become one of the key global supply chain trends, with customers demanding green products and sustainable practices. The NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business reports products marketed as sustainable grew 5.6 times faster than those that did not. 

Growth in Circular Supply Chains
There’s a move away from the traditional linear supply chain to the circular supply chain where manufacturers reuse and rework discarded and worn out products through refurbishment or by recycling components into raw materials.

Agile Supply Chains
To effectively compete, supply chains need to be flexible and agile, as well as able to respond to changes on short notice. This is a radical departure from traditional supply chain thinking that focuses on reliability, consistency and low cost.

Internet of Things
It appears the Internet of Things (IoT) is coming of age. As costs fall, research shows the number of businesses using IoT devices grew from 13% in 2014 to 25% in 2019. The IDC forecasts 13.6% annual growth through to 2022. 

Big Data Analytics and Supply Chain Logistics Coming Together
Big Data is here, thanks to the digitization of the supply chain, the growth in IoT, and the greater availability of customer data. Companies today have access to enormous amounts of data and are using this to generate business intelligence ranging from understanding past performances to predicting future trends. 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning With
Greater access to Big Data, more organizations are turning to AI and machine learning to simplify tasks and automate procedures. Gartner reports that in the four years to 2019, there was a 270% increase in the number of organizations using artificial intelligence

Using Prescriptive Analytics to Move Beyond the Limitations of Predictive Supply Chain Analytics
While sometimes regarded as the new kid on the block, prescriptive analytics is being increasingly used as a supply chain decision-making tool. While other forms of analytics, such as diagnostic and predictive analytics, focus on past and future trends, providing useful insights, they share a common failing: They don’t provide information needed to make informed decisions.

You can read the the entire article at RiverLogic.