Top 9 Trends for Supply Chain in 2016
  1. Real time technology will rule

Real time technology will enable companies accurately determine where and what’s in stock instantly, on-demand. Real time stock tracking will enable well-founded confidence about what’s available in your store. Live inventory updates and tracking of movements in the supply chain helps companies to ensure that they have the stock they need on their shelves at all times. It’s a technology that will become increasingly important in 2016, particularly for B2C eCommerce companies. Adoption of this technology is fast becoming commonplace, so we predict a big rise in the use of web-based technology and live data in 2016.

  1. Networked companies come out ahead.

Collaboration between the various actors is a critical element of a supply chain and we expect to see more companies fully integrate throughout their network of suppliers and customers. It is critical organisations work as an integrated network of companies, with access to the same realtime information, working towards a shared mission to deliver results and be ahead of their competitors. A business network will allow companies to be agile, responsive, flexible, and efficient.

  1. Enhanced end-to-end Visibility.

As businesses expand globally, they are realising the need for transparent and traceable supply chains. Businesses will continue to put their global supply chains in the hands of a safe and secure IT platform.  This is where Cloud comes in. The best solution for Enterprise today is Cloud, because you get flexibility, robust applications and top-notch support, all at a cost effective rate.

  1. Intelligent reporting is leading to better inventory control          

It is paramount that companies keep on top of their stock levels. But the resulting data isn’t easy to read and analyse, indeed it can be very time consuming. As such, we have seen a rise in intelligent reporting – intuitive, graphical data with automated alerts to let you know when inventory is low or nearing its expiry date.

  1. Acceleration of the supply chain.

This can be best achieved through partnerships and collaboration. 2016 has been the year solution providers offered strategic, tailored and easily deployed packages to help businesses accelerate their supply chain.

  1. Digitisation of the supply chain.

Digital technology is disrupting traditional operations and now every business is a digital business. The impact on supply chain management is particularly great. Businesses cannot unlock the full potential of digital without reinventing their supply chain strategy. In today’s global and connected economy, digital supply chains are the on-ramp to innovation and success. And if you want to be among the winners, you need to get on the highway and go fast. Start today by re-imagining your supply chain. Develop digital strategies that allow you to proactively evolve ahead of the competition. Employ comprehensive solutions that support the entire source-to-settle process and create value for all parties involved in it. Supply chain analytics will allow businesses to create useful key performance indicators and incubate innovative ideas to successfully manage service levels. Daily monitoring, sharing, and interpretation of analytics will help businesses plan and make informed decisions.

  1. Big data = Better Decisions.

The potential of big data is becoming evident in all areas of business and this is the case for the supply chain. Businesses that capture and analyse the huge amounts of data generated around shipment and transport will continue to improve efficiency. Companies that take advantage of collaborative solutions to process and analyse this data will reap the benefits of cost reduction, capacity control and risk management.

  1. Better tracking for shipments

While online shopping has developed at a prodigious rate since its inception, shipment tracking is an area where there is much room for improvement. Advances in warehouse technology, along with customer-friendly communication by email and text, mean that it’s now possible to keep your shoppers informed about exactly where their order is, and when it will be with them. The best companies are already doing this, resulting in increased customer satisfaction and loyalty – so we expect more online sellers to join them in offering better tracking options in 2016.

  1. Disruption.

With increasingly unpredictable weather across the globe in the past few years, and the effects of climate change being felt, the supply chain has experienced many disruptions. Recently the freezing conditions in the US and the disastrous flooding in the UK have caused disruptions, which led to significant economic impact on supply chains across these regions. Management must proactively assess the risk of disruption and develop a risk management strategy.

In conclusion, supply chain like many other business concerns has moved with the constantly changing socio-economic environment of the 21st century. In this, we’ve experienced development and innovation in key sectors as well as products and services. These patterns will continue to evolve, and it’s up to management and professionals to take advantage of these developments, so that they can affect their businesses positively. A particular trend which cannot be overstated is the effect of big data on supply chains. Big Data will continue to play a major role in supply chain decision making in the foreseeable future.