This article appears in Business Technology Management, and just as the titles suggests, it reviews seven things to look for in supply chain management during the upcoming year. We typically cover this space from the payments and financing angle, but there is so much new tech being applied now across the spectrum of the full supply chain cycle, which is what this piece points out.
In our 2021 Outlook for commercial and enterprise payments, we discuss various impactful trends and have many of the same items listed in this referenced article such as platforms, cloud, data, etc. So the author lists the tech trends in the supply chain space as follows:
- ‘More Agility – For supply chains to function at its best, there needs to be more flexibility and agility. It will help them respond to changes within short notice. The agile trend in supply chain management has shifted from traditional supply chain methods…
- Sustainability…- For example, 66 percent of millennials are more likely to patronize a company with sustainable and eco-friendly culture. Furthermore, brands that advocate for sustainability grow 5.6 times faster than brands that don’t….
- Blockchain…- Customers love same-day delivery, but this can be difficult for logistics. Thus, blockchain technology in supply chain management comes in handy. By cutting out intermediaries, blockchain takes you straight to your customers. The blockchain technology system helps distribute digital data transparently and securely. Vendors, shipping lines, customers, and logistics firms can all collaborate using a single platform. Every added data or information is in the form of blocks stored in a single location.
- IoT and Big Data – As IoT advances, businesses can automatically manage their inventory and stock movement better. The system works by collecting big data into a central system for analysis. From the outcome, supply chains can derive valuable insights. Big data application in the supply chain improves operations, hiring processes, or marketing strategies.
- Omnichannel…- Ultimate customer experience is what your customers expect. It entails providing them with a direct and convenient shopping experience. Whether they are shopping online or in-store, your business needs convenient omnichannel services…
- AI and ML – AI and ML technology has brought about several new processes in supply chains. Large scale automation is one of them. Machine learning can read, identify, and replicate complex content, patterns, and procedures. Rather than have your employees stuck on doing repetitive tasks, AI automation handles all that…
- The Spread of SCaaS – Several businesses handle their supply chain activities in-house. However, we are now seeing more companies adopt the Supply Chain as a Service (SCaaS) business model. So, they now outsource activities like inventory management, logistics, and packing.’
These are just extracts since the blog has more details for those who want to read it. Members of the CEP service will be familiar with many (or all) of these trends because we cover them as part of the digitalization of the cash cycle.
Overview by Steve Murphy, Director, Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group