Supply chain and logistics are both under a constant threat of disruption, but they are also in the midst of an unprecedented transformation. These two industries have been slowly progressing toward autonomous systems and robotics for decades, but now they’re coming together at speeds never seen before. As the world shifts to a more automated future, it’s crucial that companies look ahead at the new trends affecting supply chains and logistics—and are prepared with strategies to stay competitive.
The rise of the on-demand economy
The on-demand economy is growing and changing the way companies do business. It’s also changing how consumers do business, as people choose to work with companies that flexibly meet their needs. For example, suppose you want to get groceries delivered from a local store but don’t want to spend hours waiting around at check-out. In that case, you can use an app for grocery pickup service instead—and order ahead for later delivery or pick-up in person at the store!
The on-demand economy is changing how people do business, and it’s here to stay. As more and more companies embrace this model, consumers will benefit from access to a broader range of products at better prices.
The implementation of Industry 4.0 technologies
Industry 4.0 is a term used to describe the fourth industrial revolution, which is expected to significantly impact supply chain operations in 2022. Implementing smart factories and data analytics will enable greater efficiency and speed in manufacturing processes, as well as improved customer experience through personalized service.
With Industry 4.0 technology set to become widespread by 2022, organizations will need to rethink how they manage their logistics networks if they want them up-to-date with this latest technology trend.
Supply chain technology is becoming more advanced and complex, and businesses must be able to keep up with the latest trends to stay competitive. The fourth industrial revolution is expected to have a significant impact on supply chain operations in 2022, as organizations look to implement new technologies such as smart factories and data analytics to improve efficiency and speed in manufacturing processes.
The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on supply chain operations
In 2019, the COVID-19 Pandemic was introduced to the world. From August of that year until May 2020, the virus caused widespread health problems and deaths worldwide. The outbreak devastated supply chain operations as companies struggled to find enough workers for their operations due to fear of contracting the disease themselves or having someone in their family die from it. In addition to this economic impact on companies’ bottom lines, there were also significant logistical issues caused by COVID-19:
- The World Health Organization reported that between October 2018 and January 2019 alone there were over 10 million cases worldwide.
- This resulted in substantial increases in transportation costs due to increased demand among carriers.
- Increased fuel prices due to increased demand at ports across Europe and Africa.
The pandemic also significantly impacted the global economy, with estimates suggesting that the economic losses from the outbreak were more than 5 trillion dollars.
Increased industry regulation and safety requirements
Several factors will affect the supply chain and logistics in the future, including increased industry regulation and safety requirements.
- Increased industry regulation: The collective impact of all these changes is likely to lead to more stringent restrictions on manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. They will also have to ensure that their products comply with existing laws for them to be sold legally or imported into the country where they are based.
- Increased safety requirements: In addition to following all local laws concerning product quality control, manufacturers will also need to consider what kind of training employees receive as well as how often they undergo inspections by various agencies (such as health inspectors). These changes could lead them down paths such as ensuring workers know how much radiation exposure they can get before leaving work each day at certain facilities; knowing exactly how much noise pollution there should be at different times during operating hours, etc.
- Increased transparency: Manufacturers will also be forced to be more transparent about their products and the materials that go into them. The more transparent they are, the easier it will be for them to ensure compliance with all laws and regulations.
An evolving market means that logistics strategies must also evolve to stay competitive
Supply chain and logistics professionals are facing an evolving market, which means that the strategies they use to stay competitive must also evolve.
- Data: The ability to analyze data is critical in making smart decisions about where products will be produced, transported, and sold. This includes not only the quality of the data itself but also its timeliness and accuracy as well as how different departments within a company can use it.
- Agility: Agility refers to reacting quickly when something changes in your business environment—such as new regulations or customer demands—and then adapting accordingly without taking too much time away from what you do best (like running operations). Agility also means being able to adapt when things don’t go according to plan; for example, if there aren’t enough trucks available at certain times due to maintenance issues or other unforeseen circumstances like weather conditions affecting fuel supply availability, and many other factors.
How you can stay ahead
Despite the challenges, supply chain and logistics is a sector that continues to grow in importance. The key is to stay abreast of trends, understand how they affect your business, and adapt accordingly. There are many ways to stay on top of trends, including attending industry conferences and events, reading trade publications, and networking with other professionals in your field.
If you’re looking for additional information on supply chain and logistics trends, check out our News Section here at Soul Logistics. We aim to provide timely and relevant information about the logistics industry.