Supply Chain Management in 2022 and beyond: what’s to come?

Supply chain management teams have witnessed massive changes after the COVID-19 outbreak. With supply chain disruptions continuing in 2022, it is essential to stay on top of the upcoming supply chain management trends.

Major trends contributing to supply chain management changes in 2022 and beyond.

Supply chain going green

Green consumerism is a springing up trend in the supply chain industry. With the rising importance of environmentalism and sustainability, the industry is now embracing green supply chain management, which involves integrating environmental practices with traditional supply chain management systems. Over the next few years, the number of companies adopting green supply chain management is expected to increase significantly.

The rise of elastic logistics

The need for elastic strategies in supply chain management has evolved in recent years. The implementation of elastic supply chain methodologies can help companies minimise risks and deal efficiently with market fluctuations in a cost-effective manner. Furthermore, it helps make the processes like shipping, transportation, and manufacturing more flexible and responsive.

Circular supply chain 

In recent years, circular supply chains have become increasingly popular because of their profitability. By recycling discarded materials, manufacturers and sellers can make new products. Through the looping of supply chain, costs can be reduced well beyond the initial costs of implementing new processes. Companies can reduce their environmental impact by utilising a circular supply chain.

Automation of supply chains

Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, and cloud-based solutions are expected to drive the next generation of supply chains. AI will also play a crucial role in maximising supply chain efficiency. It is also possible for AI to identify patterns in the supply chain, so companies can use this technology to predict demand and manage inventory more effectively. Similarly, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) offer numerous possibilities for improving supply chain efficiency. Using AR devices makes multitasking easier. AR and VR technologies increase worker productivity and aid in product development.

Information handling using blockchain tools

Blockchain technology can be utilised to enhance transparency in supply chain management. It helps in minimising disruptions and enhances customer service processes. It helps integrate the supply chain components into a single platform. Major companies that are concerned about supply chain visibility are likely to embrace blockchain technology to make things easier.

Blockchain technology can be utilised to enhance transparency in supply chain management, which helps in minimising disruptions and enhances customer service processes. Its decentralised nature makes blockchain technology an ideal choice for the supply chain industry. Furthermore, it helps integrate the supply chain components into a single platform. Today, major companies that are concerned about supply chain visibility are likely to embrace blockchain technology to make things easier.

Supply chain agility 

Agility indicates how quickly a supply chain team can adapt to disruptions. A company’s supply chain must be agile enough to handle natural disasters, changing raw material prices, and natural disasters to maintaining high service levels. Moreover, for a supply chain to outpace the competition and drive growth in the future, it must be agile. 

Supply chain resilience

Resiliency is a very important word when the discussion topic is the supply chain industry. A resilient supply chain will make it easier to reduce adverse events faster, provide outstanding customer service, and generate value and market share. A company’s supply chain can be more resilient by increasing agility, diversification, scenario planning, and visibility.

A standard certification for supply chain management

Like any other industry, supply chain management also demands qualified professionals with the right skills to manage the supply chain processes effectively. If you aspire to join a supply chain industry managerial position, you can opt for supply change management certification courses. An MBA in Agile Supply Chain Management can help you gain a comprehensive overview and orientation in supply chain management.

We may see a very different supply chain in the future, and maybe there will be fewer disruptions and shortages shortly.  Besides the above trends, supply chain visibility, product life cycles, supply chain integration, workforce globalisation, etc., also affect supply chain management.

How 5G technology can revolutionize Supply Chain Management

The modern supply chain management is giving importance to responsiveness. Just before the system has achieved low cost and productivity and now adding the responsiveness to make it agile for the E-commerce market requirements. 5G is the telecom technology going to be introduced across the globe soon, as many telecom service providers have started their infrastructure works and the whole world is looking for its implementation this year onwards.

5G technology is 100 times faster than the 4G technology which enables the big data process. The automation of the supply chain has allowed capturing the data from different points and the same can be processed at a faster speed to enable unmanned vehicles and automated robotics in action. The 5G technology is giving the following technological advantage to enable Supply Chain Management to be more automated.

Enhanced Mobile broadband:

The enhanced mobile broadband allows the AR/VR contents, videos and streaming of data possible. A supply chain network can utilize these enhanced technology adaptions to make the communication in both the direction of the supply chain very fast and accurate.

Massive machine type communication:

The massive speed for the communication allows the high-speed machine to machine communication, this enables the communication in Internet of Things (IoT) devices and makes the supply chain as a smart chain ecosystem.

IoT is the ecosystem where different electronic devices are connected and mutually communicated through the machine-to-machine communication channel. Smart warehouses, smart inventory management, smart distribution, smart production system, smart homes, and smart cities could be possible with this IoT implementation.

Ultra-reliable and low latency communication:

The 5G technology enables automated surgery and automated vehicle movements because both need faster decision-making based on a large volume of data analysis and appropriate decision-making. Reliability is a big factor as it gives the authority to allow such technology for use in public and can prevent any possible losses of assets or even lives of people.

So 5G technology would be the triggering point for the Supply Chain innovation and the leap in technological advancement we can expect after this. Now one side application advancements are happening in Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Blockchain applications, big data collection from the business areas. The structured big data processing, analysis, and decision-making process give great innovation in Supply Chain Management applications and this will help E-commerce to the next level. The drones could be used for the last mile delivery. The supply chain responses become efficient and fast, enable the best demand analysis and eliminate all types of wastages in the system.

BoxBay the automated container stacking system at DP World, Dubai, UAE

DP World, Dubai, UAE, the 3rd largest port operator in the world – has 181 business units in 64 countries, employing 56,000 employees. They provide smart end-to-end supply chain solutions to international trade. It’s a publicly listed company headquartered in Dubai, UAE, and has a global presence. The company keeps expanding its business across the globe through acquiring land transports, shipping business, freight forwarding, and using state-of-the-art technology to make the best in the world.

DP World has completed a proto-type model of BoxBay, an automated container stacking system at their major seaport in Dubai, UAE. This is a joint venture between DP World and the German industrial automation company SMS group. This project is a part of DP world’s concept of using innovation and technology enabling global trade and the model should be able to adapt at any location worldwide for more efficiency and productivity. The logistics partners are working on Blockchain technology which enables them to offer the Electronic Bill of lading for the shipping industry.

The system stores the container in steel racks which is as high as 7 containers high storable. It delivers a capacity of 3 times compared to a conventional container yard where the containers are stored on top of the other, so this technology can reduce the footprint of almost 70% of the container yard. In BoxBay, the containers are moved in and out through electrified and automated cranes which are built in the system. The individual containers can be moved without touching any other containers.

The whole BoxBay project is powered by solar panels which have connected at the top of the system so this is a very sustainable project for power utilization. The cost of operations is less for the long run as the power charges would be negligible as it’s a renewable power source. The port container yards are big areas where the solar cells could be connected without any disturbances, the solar cells are available at much low cost due to their massive production and usage, the fast storage cells and availability for great results, all made the solar power generation cost in par with the conventional energy cost.

Fast, reliable and responsive  – The buzzwords for the model logistics, the above project can help the Container yard speed up the operations, give more reliability, less carbon footprint, more economic feasibility, sustainability, and automation. The 6 months trial of BoxBay has given the confidence for the DP world to invest in this project and make it available for its regular port operations soon.

Role of Supply Chain Management

Role of Supply Chain Management in an Organization

Supply Chain Management is part of an organisation’s business or initiative that ensures goods, services, or products deliver to customers easily. Supply Chain Management, also known as SCM, notes how their customers’ needs are commensurate with what they offer or can offer.

The world has gone from just having physical stores or businesses to online merchandise. Planning how to reach your wide range of customers effectively has a lot to do with Supply Chain Management. Let’s talk about the importance.

Importance of Supply Chain Management

  1. Reduced Operating Cost

Retailers and manufacturers rely directly on Supply Chain Management to reduce operating costs. Retailers bank on a company’s SCM to sell their products and services. The business world has become highly competitive, and retailers can’t afford to lose a customer. Right SCM boosts sales.

The same applies to manufacturers too. Dell computers took orders from customers and retailers worldwide, building their specifications and sending the products to them. Supply Chain Management saved more than 10 million dollars. Dell didn’t have computers lying without use and retailers had no computers lying in warehouses.

With an SCM, both sides of the market do more.

  1. Effective Customer Service

A business or organisation’s sole purpose is to meet customers’ needs. Supply Chain Management manages customer service to ensure demands are met. When a call is placed to your organisation about a product, customer service reaches out to SCM to ask or investigate what customers want. Customer service 24/7 accessibility is partly dependent on Supply Chain Management. SCM ensures proper and on-time delivery.

  1. Quality Products

Supply Chain Management increases product quality at customers’ request and in a highly competitive market. They believe services and products must be durable and reliable.

Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Logistics focuses on the supply chain’s movement and storage of goods. It entails organising and carrying out the storage and transportation of products between various supply chain nodes. Facilities, personnel, equipment, and other resources are coordinated by logistics to make sure that things move when they should and that there is room for them at the next stop.

A more thorough approach is supply chain management (SCM), which includes all aspects of coordinating, including sourcing, producing, shipping, storing, and selling. The ultimate goal of SCM is to find processes that ensure a smooth, efficient flow of goods, deliver an excellent customer experience, and progress the business.

MBA in Supply Chain Management

Supply chain management MBA is a professional master’s degree program that puts the business administration curriculum with special courses in supply chain management. The duration of an MBA is between 1 to 3 years and its core purpose is to give a robust understanding of SCM and its requirements like statistics, marketing, finance, economics, and accounting. MBA can be offered online or in physical classes.

MBA ensures a more focus and deep learning curve is attained through related supply chain courses.

SCM Certification Courses (APICS, CSCP)

The demand for a Supply Chain Manager is getting rather intense, hence the need for notable management certifications. Interviewers have said that interviewees with certifications tend to do better than their counterparts without certifications. Certification from notable courses like CSCP and APICS also increases your earning power. Industries appreciate people who go the extra length to get knowledge, so they repay them in cash.

APICS, American Production and Inventory Control Society, is an American organisation which recently merged with the Supply Chain Council SCC and the American Society of Transportation and Logistics. It is one of the most recognised certifications, having certified more than 125,000 professionals.

CSCP, Council of Supply Chain Management, is another top certification program that dwells on the supply chain field and also covers supply chain end-to-end. The program is important for those in Supply Chain Management who are analytical and problem solvers. It gives a good hands-on experience to those interested.

Get certified and stay updated!

PG Diploma

A Post Graduate Diploma in Supply Chain Management allows you to see better what goes on in SCM. A PG diploma might be the best option if you have a bachelor’s degree. A diploma will build on what you already know and give you an even clearer picture, something more advanced. Courses taken will deal with what makes up a supply chain, why they are important and improved methods.

Machine Learning in Supply Chain Management

How Machine Learning is Revolutionizing Supply Chain Management?

Machine learning is shaping the way we view and discover patterns in supply chain management. It makes the process efficient by utilizing algorithms that easily identify the vital factors to a supply networks’ success while adapting, learning, and upgrading at the same time.

The ability to discover new patterns in supply chain data can change the dynamics of any business in both the short and long run. On a daily basis, machine learning algorithms are identifying new patterns in supply chain data, in the absence of a manual process.

The machine learning algorithms, query the specific data via iterations with the aid of constraint based modeling to identify the factors and processes that guarantee the highest level of accuracy. All of these have brought about the emergence of new essential factors that have never been conceivable beforehand.

The insight and knowledge obtained via machine learning are reshaping supply chain management as we know it.

When Supply Chain Management and Machine Learning combine, it brings about a transformational change in any business or industrial setting. As mentioned, Machine learning facilitates the generation of patterns of supply chain data.

The machine learning algorithms constantly find new patterns which are important factors in rendering improvements, and learning.

Machine learning has the tendency to create new patterns without any human assistance. The Machine learning algorithms compare and contrast data with other parameters in order to make accurate predictions.

The following are ways via which machine learning is helping to revolutionize supply chain management.

1. Physical inspection and monitoring

Machine learning algorithms now make it easy to carry out monitoring and inspection with human interference. This limits the threats and risk to the supply chain. The Machine learning algorithms collect, compare, and contrast data with other parameters in order to make accurate predictions.

One of the strengths of machine learning is to recognize visual patterns, and as such, inspections, and monitoring is made easy.

2. Reduction in cost

A drop down in cost doesn’t equate a reduction in quality. Through responsive data analysis, machine learning minimizes risk and facilitates on-time demands at a reduced cost. Machine learning eliminates the dependence on human factors, thereby reducing project completion time, and also reduces cost.

3. Enhancing the life of the equipment

Machine learning plays a positive role in increasing the life of supply chain equipment. The combination of machine learning and the Internet of Things sensors leads to the creation of new patterns that are equipment friendly.

Here are some helpful resources:

MBA in Agile Supply Chain Management

Supply Chain Certification Programs Online – APICS