Supply Chain Systems Under Transformation—Key Trends and Growth Insights

New Technologies, Changing Consumer Preferences, and Industrial Convergence are Expected to Lead The Transformation of Global Supply Chain Systems
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Published: 27 Dec 2017

Supply chain management across industries around the world has undergone a substantial overhaul. Globalization, the rapid growth in emerging economies, and the changing dynamics of business processes are driving the highly varying levels of demand from different regions across the globe. Multiple market factors are influencing supply chain systems, including the rising trend of e-Commerce growth, omni-channel marketing and sales, digital technologies, and real-time connectivity at economical rates. With rapid product proliferation due to shorter product lifecycles, shrinking time-to-market, and the intensifying competition, companies are under tremendous pressure to improve planning efficiencies and reduce supply chain costs. The early adoption of new technologies will help companies overcome challenges related to procurement, manufacturing, storage, and distribution functions and processes and help to improve system efficiency. For example, the emergence of disruptive technologies such as Big Data analytics, 3D printing, Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, and automation holds the potential to build capabilities and provide procurement functions with the ability to understand, analyze, and take data-driven strategic decisions based on total cost of ownership (TCO) impact and, at the same time, make day-to-day operational execution efficient and effective. Understanding customers’ needs and re-aligning according to real needs and expectations are important, and this provides a framework for critical areas that require improvement. Supply chain transformation must balance responsiveness and efficiency with a focus on an integrated view of end-to-end supply chain activities. Technology adoption and the need for end-to-end supply chain visibility have emerged as the focus areas of improvement. Based on new processes, systems, and technologies, key performance metrics must be developed and enforced. Strong leadership is important to create and enforce impetus for change and resolve conflicts, thereby helping to overcome organizational inertia and work toward the proactive adoption of changes in new processes and methods.

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