Top 6 Supply Chain Trends to Watch Out for 2021

Supply chain management

Supply chain management

Here’s how supply chain trends will impact the industry in 2021?

2020 has been an exciting and somewhat impactful year for the global supply chain. As it is the pipeline of global trade, the onslaught of COVID-19 put it at standstill. Now, with countries racing to develop a vaccine to cure this pandemic, the supply chain is hoping to back on track to start the business again. Though the future is always uncertain, we have compiled here a list of the top supply chain trends and predictions for the year 2021. From new regulatory implications to innovations of industry 4.0 technologies, how the supply chain will look like in 2021 and beyond and which trends will impact the industry?

Let’s have a look at the top 6 supply chain trends to watch out for in 2021.

 

Digitalization

With the advent of Industry 4.0, supply chains are shifting rapidly towards a connected, smart, and highly efficient supply chain ecosystem. In essence, digitization brings some sort of innovations that were limited by legacy systems and approaches. This makes the global chain a completely integrated ecosystem that is fully transparent to all the players involved, from the suppliers of raw materials, components, and parts, to the transporters of those supplies and finished goods, and customers demanding fulfillment.

 

Blockchain Adoption

Whilst blockchain has been known for its transparency capability, it is widely being adopted by the supply chain industry. The technology has already proved its worth in various industries. In the food and beverage industry alone, research suggests that blockchain can save US$31 billion by 2024. In Supply chains, data sharing often is a challenge. Using blockchain allows data to be shared across a supply chain, end-to-end, with all concerned parties.

 

Green Supply Chain

Achieving a sustainable business ecosystem has become a buzzword in today’s digitized world. Supply chains are no exception. The concept of green supply chain management means integrating sustainable environmental processes into traditional supply chains. As electricity and transportation immensely contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, green logistics are quickly gaining traction among many companies today. It refers to one of the supply chain trends affecting warehousing. Green supply chain management significantly involves driving value creation throughout the supply chain organizations to lower total environmental impact.

 

Heightened IoT Adoption

As IoT blends interconnected physical devices that can monitor, report on and send and exchange data, it is substantially effective in supply chains. IoT devices can track and authenticate products and shipments using GPS and other technologies. They can also monitor the storage conditions of products, enhancing quality management and visibility throughout the supply chain. Using IoT in warehouses and retail outlets can also improve visibility in production, inventory management, and predictive maintenance.

 

Smart contracts

Smart contracts are transaction protocols to execute when certain conditions are met automatically. In the supply chain, it could automatically generate an invoice when the shipment reaches the destination or conducting financial transactions between parties. While the modern supply chains are much more complicated, fragmented and difficult to understand, smart contracts enable supply chain management simpler and more transparent.

 

Agile Supply Chains

An agile supply chain is fundamentally achieved by speed, cost and efficiency. It is based on the sensitivity to consumers’ demand. Agile supply chain framework follows some major constituents, including virtual integration, process alignment, network, market-sensitive, and others. Personalization of shipments is considered another aspect of agility in the supply chain Further, by harnessing the power of AI and machine learning, supply chains could build models to forecast future events and be prepared for it.