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Top 5 supply chain trends to watch in 2021

2020 has come to an end, but the gaps and risks it exposed and the urgency for supply chain resilience it created will continue to drive companies in 2021 and beyond.  The pandemic rattled supply chains worldwide while simultaneously emphasising its importance and gave birth to new goals for the years ahead. 

Today companies across industries are re-evaluating their processes, partners, systems and looking for ways to build resilience. As we begin the new year, here are some of the vital supply chain management trends that will gain momentum and dominate the industry in the years to come:

Companies will increasingly turn towards automation and AI systems: 

Automation has emerged as a critical trend permeating several industries in the last few years, and the adoption of these solutions is only set to increase. The wide acceptance of automation and AI technology in the supply chain landscape seldom illustrates the value these solutions have managed to provide. 

Right from minimising manual efforts to enabling organisations to analyse data better and draw insights, make informed decisions and drive profitability, digital automation based solutions have gone a long way in empowering global supply chains. Moreover, the covid-19 pandemic further emphasised the need for organisations to leverage digital automation solutions. 

These systems will continue to dominate 2021 as well. 

Better transportation strategies and services powered by intelligent SCM tools: 

Supply chain management tools that help you determine how to leverage speed vs space, which is the best possible trade route for your shipment and which carrier offers you the best service are set to gain more popularity this year. 

These tools will help you optimise your supply chain management by equipping you with carrier and vendor performance based on historical data analysis. This will enable you to make accurate transit time predictions and plan your shipments accordingly. 

Robotic automation will gain more popularity: 

Automation in supply chain management extends to manual tasks as well. So far, drones are being used to deliver lightweight goods, and the possibility of driverless vehicles is being explored. 

But robotics automation technology will see maximum adoption in warehousing. Companies are likely to invest in Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR) for performing labour-intensive tasks. This will enable them to save time and drive efficiency. 

It’s essential to note here that robots will only free human capital from repetitive and menial tasks and allow them to focus on more important work. 

Layered technologies- a larger trend:

So far, we have seen various technologies whose adoption is rapidly increasing in the supply chain industry. However, all these innovations have given birth to a larger trend: Layering of technologies. 

The industry has evolved enough to realise that technology cannot be considered as a single-isolated service. In light of rapid technological advancements, the key will be to have solutions that seamlessly integrate with other systems. The efficient layering of technologies will help eliminate data silos and create a dynamic supply chain. 

Supply chain agility above everything else: 

The ongoing pandemic taught us that we could ride through anything and everything with supply chain agility, even the next world-shaking event. 

After the nightmarish episode of 2020, companies are bound to invest in building flexible supply chains that can absorb shocks. Supply chain leaders will leverage digital automation solutions in the year ahead and beyond to build models that can predict and help prepare for future supply chain disruptions. 

Most certainly, covid-19 had been an eye-opener for the supply chain industry by highlighting the need to operate with a lean-approach. Yet another practice that will see the light of the day this year is the customisation of orders. It will help further supply chain agility by placing more control in the hands of the shipper and the consignee. 

The new year is here, time for your supply chain to keep up

Lastly, the truth remains: The Covid-19 pandemic is what will drive 2021. However, equipping yourself with smart tools and solutions today will help you ensure tremendous success as you ride through 2021 and beyond. The key is to embrace innovation and adopt the right approach in the present to thrive in the years ahead. 

If you are looking to build a cost-effective and resilient supply chain, contacts us here to find out how GoComet can help attain your goal. 

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