A man in an office, explaining the ways to future-proof your supply chain

People believe that the future of supply chain will involve overhead drones and self-driving cars. While an autonomous future with self-driving vehicles is certain, there’s more to it than that. Read on to find out five ways to future-proof your supply chain. You’ll find that technology is only a part of it.

Companies across industries are looking for ways to optimize their supply chains. The goal is to achieve greater efficiencies, increase revenues, lower costs, and of course, to have satisfied customers.

A woman helping a senior man make a payment on the internet.

The goal is to have satisfied customers.

Future-proof your supply chain, and you will future-proof your business

There’s no place for a traditional supply chain in the future. Nowadays, businesses primarily need to handle the increased demands of customers. Big companies have raised the bar for customer expectations. As a result, consumers demand fast deliveries and a wide range of products. Unless the customer can see when their order will turn up, they might quickly turn elsewhere.

Avoiding slow delivery and out of stock items is necessary to keep up with customer’s expectations. There are ways to prevent these with the future-proofing of your supply chain. Here are ways to compete in the evolving environment and survive among the strongest on the market. The future of your supply chain is in your hands. The quickest you act, the better the results will be.

Make choices with the future in mind

Making wise choices is even more important here than if you were simply a customer. Let’s say you want to move. You’ll look for a company that understands your needs and that can fulfill them. In this case, you can go to allseasonmovers.com and buy the services you need. But, what if you’re looking to partner up with somebody?

Not being just a consumer, your company is somewhere in the middle. While you need services, you also have an obligation to provide for your customers. With a lot of moving parts involved, choosing the right partner is crucial. In this line of business, reputations depend on product availability, and this depends on suppliers. Making sure your supplier is the best choice is very important. Suppliers need to deliver quality materials on time and for a competitive price.

The future of supply chain requires you and your partner to have excellent technical skills as well as sensitivity to business priorities. On top of that, your partner must understand your business needs. Maintaining long-term relationships with this kind of supplier will help you survive in the rapidly evolving industry.

Technology is the key

Technology is essential, connecting all the links in the supply chain. In the future, modern technology will become even more significant, affecting the supply chain by freeing up staff time. While this is already visible in most markets, we’re yet to see the full effect on the whole world. As a matter of fact, even artificial intelligence is working its way in logistics and other spheres of industry.

The technology enables the connection of all the relevant data from suppliers, distributors, and other links in the chain, all to a single dashboard. And as you can realize, this comes with many advantages. The whole process becomes more transparent, making it easier to control. All the data enables predictive analyses, making it extremely useful for the optimization of the supply chain.

Natural disasters are known to disrupt supply chains, making roads impassable. But it’s not only about hurricanes or floods. Tariff changes also represent a challenge, as well as compliance regulations. What can make it easier is end-to-end digital integration. Having shipments tracked in real-time allows businesses to respond to events immediately.

Integrated technology can simplify and optimize the whole supply chain, making all the individual processes and data visible, providing the necessary information for decision making.

Technology is the answer.

Responsible practices and supply chain management

With time, the good practices in the industry have changed. The transparency that the Internet has enabled, emphasizes the importance of responsible sourcing and fair labor. This is how global responsibility and social consciousness have brought changes to the supply chain strategy of big businesses.

Consider adopting responsible practices common to your consumer base. If you want to ensure long-term success, fair trade and sustainability are practices that you should definitely consider. And this will most likely be the case in the future, as young consumers age.

Synchromodal transportation

The question is how to deal with all the problems in real-time that the implementation of technology allows. The answer might be synchromodal transportation. Synchromodality implies the dynamically planned and scheduled transportation in real-time.

The future solution to supply chain disruptions in the freight industry is synchromodality. This means finding the most efficient pathway and means of transportation. However, it’s crucial to keep in mind the cost, time, conditions, and of course, fuel emissions, and other ethical aspects.

As technology provides real-time data information regarding supply-chain and transportation, this is a multi-modal system that allows utilizing the benefits of technology in the best way possible. If there’s a need to respond to active events and problems as they happen, this model will provide options to choose shipping, trucking, or another mean of transportation. And of course, the model needs to provide an inexpensive and cleaner solution. The goal is to avoid delays as challenges happen, and ultimately, satisfy the customer.

Let’s say that a tornado destroyed the road before the scheduled shipment. This model would make the assessment in advance, make the necessary corrections of the number of needed trucks, and plan a passable route, with the goal of avoiding or reducing delays. This is the challenge artificial intelligence needs to cope with in order to have a fully controlled and reactive supply chain. But we are not there (yet).

The model needs to find a new way of transportation.

The new normal

Hopefully, to future-proof your supply chain, you won’t have to think about the pandemic. However, it can’t be said that the time of lockdowns and weakened economy haven’t affected the rules of the game. Ensuring the safety and health of the workers has become more critical than ever before. Also, it’s become harder to get in direct contact with customers, so businesses had to find a way to stay in touch with the consumers. Flexibility has become necessary when offering customized or standardized options.

If nothing, what the whole situation has shown us, is that there’s always a space to optimize our supply chains.