Electronic logs, internet of things sensors, analytics — it can seem as though the logistics industry is teeming with new trends every day. Fortunately, for every new trend, there’s an old standard that has held up for decades. Here’s a quick glance at seven supply chain trends that have been strong in the past and will continue to be strong in the future.
1.) Improved Speed
Being able to do things well and do things quickly has been a longstanding core value for business owners. Consumers have always demanded quick turnaround times. However, it can be challenging to keep up with today’s world of instant gratification, especially when it comes to delivery speed. After all, transport only moves so fast. To accommodate, many delivery services now offer two-day and same-day shipping. Warehouse tech and automation tools have also helped improved turnaround times.
2.) Increased Accuracy
Accuracy does and always has improved profitability. Why? Inaccurate orders that result in returns and decreased customer satisfaction cost business owners money. Keep up with accuracy demands by using a cloud-based warehouse management system that improves your efficiency, allows for flexibility, and keeps your business running effectively.
3.) Total Transparency
The never-ending question in logistics is: “how long?” Being able to effectively track shipments and inventory availability is vital to customer satisfaction and operational flexibility. Having transparency across your entire supply chain makes it easy to keep your company operating at maximum efficiency.
4.) Real-Time Information
Knowing how long a shipment will take or when an item is back in stock gives customers the information they need to keep them happy. From simple tracking numbers to GPS tools that show what street a delivery truck is driving down, increasing real-time information helps stakeholders make vital operating decisions.
5.) Data Access
Cross-system integration allows employees and managers to have real-time access to legacy warehouse data housed in management software. This makes it easy to use performance metrics to identify areas of improvement without IT help.
6.) Reduced Labor Costs
Increased costs of living and need for reduced costs are a constant issue for logistics. Because labor is the strongest variable, you need to improve productivity through data usage, better layout, and automation to keep your operation profitable.
7.) Continued Flexibility
Though you might expect increased market opportunities to create a one-size-fits-all approach, the need for specialty logistics, operational flexibility, and turnaround agility have always been a strong trend in logistics.
While it’s important to stay on top of new supply chain trends, that shouldn’t be your only focus. Make sure your company is also mastering best practices that have stood the test of time to maximize your business performance.