A Look At 2017 Supply Chain Trends

2017 supply chain trends

How will the 2017 supply chain trends make a difference to you and your company? The same competitive advantage once enjoyed by international suppliers is no longer in effect thanks to the globalization of business affecting the supply chain. Old-school supply and demand have altered due to the emergence of more markets in the global economy.

It is entirely possible that in the next ten years or less many organizations will have China-based procurement managers in order to source services and materials for their entire organization – not just for China located operations. Future global companies’ sources of supply and demand are predictably going to be India, Russia, and Brazil. Organizations will have to offer suppliers visibility and transparency in strategies for supply chain expansion.

Analyzing Costs

To reduce costs, we must understand them. Loads, volumes, charges, and proficiencies can be more easily evaluated with a cost analysis. Discounts and purchase price cannot be the only contributing factors to supply chain decisions. Also, driving optimization are multiple processes such as transportation, logistics, and inventory. In order to cut costs, it is necessary to look beyond logistics. For less administrative errors, move to digital processes. Check for chargebacks, and renegotiate contracts with vendors.

The Role of Digital Processes Is Increasing

Both time and cost savings were realized when manual processes were taken over by digital. By making use of digital methods, less chance of disruption, cost reduction, operational productivity, and better supply chain visibility can be achieved – through seamless software integration allowing logistics providers to keep up with demand.

Advanced Technology Advances Companies, But Beware!

Company goals such as real-time automating processes, an increase of visibility, and streamlining of data are all supported by the growing use of cloud technology software, shipping via autonomous vehicles, support to supply chain robotics, and more. But certain risks come with technology, particularly cyber security vulnerabilities. Supply chains are seeing increased cyber attacks. Sensitive information within vulnerable systems is being targeted by hackers. Breaches rose 97% in 2015. It will be essential in 2017 for employees of all companies to understand and be involved in the best possible cyber security practices.

Shorter, More Complex Life Cycles

Because consumers are constantly in search of lower prices and more features, supply chains are realizing the significance of speed-to-market. Their development of innovative products is quicker. A product’s lifestyle can be accelerated by the distributors, solution providers, suppliers, and other players in the supply chain collaborating.

Changes to the supply chain are caused by the shortening of a product’s lifecycle which affects shipping strategies, inventory management, and reverse logistics. Additional costs and disruptions must be avoided in order to get products to the end-user in an expedient manner. Market developments and transportation regulations must be fully understood by the logistics service providers.

Companies are being pressured to become more responsible environmentally thanks to customer expectations and increasing transportation regulations. Around the world, organizations are checking out the integration of sustainable processes and strategies. For a company to be viable in 2017, they will need to evaluate administrative efficiency, note fuel consumption, and go paperless.  Fortunately, supply chains can monitor compliance, consolidate shipments, review mode choices and routes, and employ technology and emissions measurement by working hand-in-hand with a 3PL provider. These third-party logistics services could prove to be lifesavers for companies not only in 2017 but even more so as time goes by.