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A variety of factors will influence supply chain management trends in 2023 and beyond; from technological advancements and economics, to global events (i.e. the COVID-19 pandemic). In this article, we’ll present what the global supply chain industry has to offer in the coming months.
Supply chain managers will need to re-evaluate overall supply chain strategies and innovate new business models to keep success sustainable – from manufacturing and transportation to storage and distribution.
Improvement of Carrier Services
The pandemic showcased high consumer spending on goods as carrier capacity diminished – resulting in carriers bolstering their rates for both sea, air, and land transportation. As well, service levels worsened due to labor shortages and pandemic lockdowns, causing transportation backlogs and shippers dealing with mass delays.
As we approach 2023, demand has leveled off and capacity has increased once again. This means that carriers have begun to lower their rates – back to their previous adjustments. Improving customer service will be a highlight for the coming year as carriers once again need to compete for business and customer loyalty post-pandemic.
Improvements in Inventory Management
Another trend supply chain disruptions brought forward was “keeping stock.” Before 2020, companies typically prioritized lean inventory management; which means keeping only what they need. This strategy soon became a thing of the past when the pandemic struck. To avoid supply chain disruptions and shortages, companies began overstocking inventory and further investing in warehousing and storage spaces.
Since the logistics industry has re-stabilized, this trend is likely to begin reversing in the coming months. It may be wise to meet in the middle. Supply chain managers should keep additional inventory on hand but less than peak-pandemic numbers, in case any supply chain issues reoccur.
Digitization will be Mainstream
Transparency and visibility allow supply chain professionals to track goods and shipments throughout the entire supply chain process; from sourcing base materials and transportation to distribution. Supply chain visibility can benefit every aspect of a business as it will help improve backend operations such as fulfillment and enable your business to meet customer demands.
A WMS software such as Simple Global’s can integrate multiple management systems and remove the tedious manual processes with no mistakes. This will also prove to increase efficiency and accuracy while prioritizing data and visibility. These perks will be incredibly sought-after in 2023 as e-commerce competition rises.
Companies with high return rates will continue to look for ways to streamline the returns process. This means utilizing automation processes to decrease return costs as businesses that charge for return shipping or implement a limited return window may not generate as much customer loyalty. In 2023, more companies are expected to look for strategically located distribution centers and advanced WMS integrations in order to seamlessly process returns.
Upcoming trends in supply chain management center around manufacturing and fulfillment sources to technology and even pandemic recurrences. This is why implementing changes in your supply chain is a must, as you’ll be better equipped to tackle any possible hiccups in 2023, and adapt to the continuously fluctuating industry.
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