Picture from Unsplash
Over the years, the supply chain industry has grown and evolved tremendously, despite the disruptions the COVID-19 pandemic caused. Supply chains have been trying to recover from these challenges and find a balance this year. Incorporating strategic technologies has helped many organizations build resilience and solve their unique needs. Here are several supply chain industry trends expected to occur in 2023.
Automation and Artificial Intelligence
Automation involves using technology to carry out many tasks to reduce the need for human labor. However, it lacks intelligence since the machines can only accomplish specifically programmed. On the contrary, artificial intelligence (AI) focuses on imitating human intelligence elements. Also, it can learn to assist in more complicated tasks.
In 2023, organizations will integrate AI and automation into their processes. For example, they will implement AI-based solutions in various supply chain processes like inventory management, procurement, and distribution.
It is crucial to automate the laborious procedures that will help you save time or other resources. This way, you will maximize your investment by allowing your employees to focus on the tasks that only a human being can complete.
A significant component of supply chain management’s future is converting information into digital form. This development will strengthen your supply chain and contribute to your organization’s success in the long run.
Additionally, specification management will enable you to digitize and standardize various supply chain components, including raw materials and manufactured products, into templates. This will help to increase security, visibility, and transparency in the supply chain.
Supply Chains Will Go Green
Today, consumers and climate change advocacy groups are pushing for sustainability. These efforts are motivating the supply chain industry to become more environmentally friendly. In 2023, green logistics will gain more power among many companies globally.
For example, they will build eco-friendly warehouses that will use advanced energy management systems to monitor the consumption of water and electricity in the facility. These systems will help to prevent the wastage and excessive use of resources. Moreover, more organizations will start using electric and solar-powered cars in their supply chains. This development will help to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint and preserve the environment.
Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) already has a significant impact on the supply chain industry. However, organizations should expect its significance to increase in 2023. Statistics indicate that by 2030, there will be at least 29 billion IoT devices globally.
Combining these devices with other technologies and trends will help you achieve more benefits. For instance, you can use sensors to gather data at your factory or warehouse and use it to determine the processes that need AI and automation. An excellent example of such procedures is asset tracking.
Labor is a valuable component of every organization’s supply chain. Researchers predict that in the coming years, manufacturers will implement multi-country operations by outsourcing skills from different countries.
However, factors like the need for more knowledge will likely affect this development. This is because, in some countries, workers lack the skills to handle complex tasks like procurement processing and analytics. Training and using sophisticated logistics setups and advanced IT systems will make it easier to fill this gap. Also, warehouse managers will start offering unique benefits like tuition reimbursement to motivate younger generations to apply for supply chain jobs.
Adoption of Circular Supply Chains
Researchers predict that in 2023, the supply chain industry will adopt circular supply chains. This is where manufacturers collect discarded products, refurbish them, and resell them. If possible, these experts will turn the waste products into raw materials. Besides the scarcity and increased cost of raw materials, strict government regulations on waste disposal and recycling are pushing companies to adopt the circular supply chain.
This trend will help companies to deal with the issue of rising costs and shortage of raw materials. It will also help to reduce the cost of price volatility, reduce supply chain waste, and improve sustainability. Since many consumers today prefer environmental-friendly products, implementing sustainable practices will allow your organization to gain more profits and incentives from the government.
In summary, numerous factors like technology, world events, and economics will influence many trends in the supply chain industry in 2023. Business leaders and supply chain managers should find a way to keep up with these changes to make their supply chains resilient and boost their company’s success.