Supply chain trends are vital when operating in the manufacturing or trucking industry. With the rise of technologies like blockchain and AI, it’s more important than ever to keep up with emerging trends in supply chains.
Forecasting enables one to prepare for future changes and manage a business better. So what do experts predict for the world of supply chains in 2022? Plenty of big things, as it turns out.
Read on to find out more about the 2022 forecasts.
2021 Supply Chain Issues Might Spill Over Into 2022
2021 was a challenging year in the supply chain. Disruptions, such as delayed deliveries, left companies scrambling for alternative options. Issues such as these may spill over into 2022.
This will continue to challenge companies with supply chains that stretch across states or countries. Other problems that may spill over in 2022 include:
- Shortage of experienced workforce
- Manufacturers not able to meet rising demands
- Delayed or overwhelmed transport systems
- Changing priorities
Realizing these problems may spill over, supply chain management should consider the following actions in advance:
- Reviewing current workforce experience and education levels
- Developing alternate plans of action when challenges arise
- Considering how to keep operations running if there is a lack of transport systems or changing priorities
The Need For Environmentally Friendly Systems Is A 2022 Forecast
Supply chain trends in 2022 will focus on greener and eco-friendlier systems. This is a result of manufacturers seeing the benefits of using recycled materials. One example of greener practices is recycling existing products.
This reduces waste and thereby saves money for manufacturing companies. It’s important to note that eco-friendly solutions can help with other issues. Other issues such as labor shortage or transport problems.
For example, delivery drones may help with transport issues.
Eco-friendly consumers are also increasing. They’re willing to spend their money on companies that support sustainability. To boost a company’s sustainability plan, one can:
- Invest in green energy sources
- Reduce emissions and lower the environmental impact of operations
- Opt for greener transport options
An Expanding Circular Supply Chain
The trucking industry supply chain will experience an increased or expanded circular supply chain. It means that there will be reduced waste in the production process.
Many will recycle raw materials, repair items, and opt for returnable ones rather than throw them away. The approach reduces the carbon footprint. It is also less complicated than a linear supply chain.
What can businesses do to ensure that their supply chains are going in the right direction? Here’s some suggestions:
- Choose sustainable materials
- Ensure efficient use of raw materials and packaging
- Work with suppliers to provide recycling services for products
- Invest in circular supply chain technologies such as smart grids
Implementing Blockchain Technology In The Supply Chain
Nowadays, blockchain technology is more than just Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It’s already used for business operations such as inventory tracking and process validation.
In 2022, expect to see the implementation of blockchain technology. This will continue with supply chain management applications.
The step may help with supply chain tracking, reducing fraud, waste, and abuse. Implementing blockchain technology will require:
- Updating or creating software systems that work with blockchain technology
- Building a reliable supply chain management team
- Conducting due diligence before investing in new technologies
- Securing outside consulting for implementation
The Era Of The Customer-Led Supply Chain
In 2022, customer relationship management will be a focus. One example is leveraging information from social media channels to gain insights into consumers’ thoughts and feelings about products.
Businesses will listen to what customers say and then use that feedback to improve their supply chains. Another example is companies creating apps that give customers product information and reviews.
Apps improve customer experience and provide data to supply chain managers. The improvement is such as when to replenish items in stores. Also when warehouses should increase production levels. To ensure success, businesses will:
- Invest in better digital infrastructure
- Conduct social listening
- Create customer-specific apps
A Flexible Supply Chain Controlled By Demand
As consumer demands change, the manufacturing industry supply chain has to adapt. Ideally, businesses would like to respond as fast as possible. That may not always be the case, especially when dealing with carrying and storing costs of products.
In 2022, expect more companies to use demand-driven inventory solutions to adjust their supply chains. These offerings allow carrying costs to be computed only on sold quantities.
Companies can also plan production and adapt as needed to improve workflow and productivity, reducing working capital needs. The main challenge is having enough data to make informed decisions about the inventory levels.
If a business is struggling, here’s some actions that can be taken:
- Implement a demand-driven approach
- Use appropriate technology solutions
- Conduct training for supply chain staff
- Adopt other inventory control techniques, such as reorder points and economic order quantity
Expansion from Local To International Options
Managing supply chains in 2022 means stepping beyond the local market. For example, a company could expand into international markets like Asia and Europe. Not only will there be more countries than ever before to consider, but companies will also need expertise beyond what is available domestically.
To meet these challenges, businesses will:
- Partner with foreign manufacturers instead of importing
- Explore global e-commerce opportunities
- Leverage demand planning, sales, and operations planning solution
In 2022, supply chains are going to be fundamentally different. The key to success is understanding that no single “best” supply chain model or approach works for all businesses.
Instead, the right strategy will depend on many factors. They include company size and location, products, industry, and economic trends.
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