5 Key Trends Driving Supply Chain Modernization
At this point in the pandemic landscape, supply chain constraints are nothing new. In both our consumer and professional lives, we’re repeatedly reminded how supply chain bottlenecks and inefficiencies have lasting, downstream consequences. From delayed delivery times to goods that never seem to stay in stock, it can feel like a lagging supply chain is synonymous with the new era we’re living in.
We know consumer demand continues to increase, fueled by e-commerce. When it’s overlaid on aging infrastructure and fixed driver and asset capacity, squeezing out efficiencies at every opportunity is critical—modernization is paramount. And how we approach that supply chain modernization has never been more important.
There’s reason to be hopeful about the future of the supply chain, especially as new innovations disrupt our old frameworks and streamline operations. As we look further ahead in 2022, five key trends drive this modernization.
1. Increased Investment In Technology
Supply chain challenges need to be met with speed, efficiency and safety. Technology is being leveraged to meet these goals to the tune of $24.3 billion in venture funding. According to PitchBook, supply chain technology startups raised the multi-billion dollar figure in the first three quarters of 2021, a substantial increase from the $15.4 billion raised in all of 2020.
The space is ripe for innovation, and payment automation and supply chain fintech arguably lead the way. Historically, most supply chain payments and invoices were made on paper, which can be inefficient, error- and fraud-prone. Automated, modernized and contactless payment solutions emerged with new importance during the pandemic, driving safety, efficiency and visibility for an industry that needs to maximize revenue.
Beyond investments in modernized payment processes, the industry will see wider adoption of API integrations, AI technologies and cybersecurity systems. Combined, these technologies provide holistic visibility into the supply chain system, process large volumes of real-time data and provide much-needed security to keep things running in an increasingly digital world.
2. Shifting Consumer Expectations And Behaviors (B2B and B2C)
Today’s B2B and B2C consumers behave differently than pre-Covid. They expect a certain level of visibility into and control over the status of their packages and where they are delivered, the time of day the delivery occurs and more. They’re also tech-savvy, looking for quick, seamless purchasing options. These are the factors that drive e-commerce sales growth, which is expected to reach $1.06 trillion in 2022.
Understanding that the pandemic permanently altered consumer behavior is the first step in tailoring solutions to meet new demand. As we think about modernization, adapting to these expectations and behaviors will be critical.
3. Continued Emergence Of Strategic Partnerships In The Supply Chain
Industry partnerships help build a resilient supply chain ecosystem. And as evidenced by the investment figure for supply chain startups, this year will see more third-party partnerships and integrations serving targeted supply chain segments. Partnerships can be a strategic way to reduce costs while improving customer service and functionality. Businesses that don’t have the expertise or bandwidth to support more innovative processes will look to partnerships and industry collaboration to keep products moving.
4. Greater Desire To Future-Proof Business Operations
The pandemic pushed risk management to the top of nearly every business agenda. According to findings from McKinsey, 95% of companies surveyed said they now have formal supply-chain risk-management processes. And 59% of companies said they had adopted new supply-chain risk management practices in 2021.
After living through the past two years, business leaders are re-evaluating operations, streamlining management and seeking out strategies that boost business resilience. For many organizations, future-proofing will mean automating processes and gathering data.
Take trucking businesses, for example, which have huge carrier and payment operations. There’s an amazing opportunity to strengthen resources to support these businesses and provide data to digitize the back office, so there’s better visibility, management of cash flow and actionable insights.
5. Advancements In Transportation
According to the American Trucking Association, there may be a shortage of 160,000 truck drivers by 2030. This shortage, coupled with extraordinary demand, has put the trucking industry in a vulnerable and overwhelmed position. Boosting efficiencies for existing drivers is critical to keep pace with the economy’s growing demands.
Beyond technology innovations that make their job more efficient, advancements in transportation like autonomous truck development will help solve supply chain pain points and modernize the industry.
Today’s end consumer craves more immediate deliveries and a 24/7 supply chain, and many autonomous vehicle (AV) developers have taken note and started to test the technology with commercial fleets. Beyond keeping goods moving full-time, AVs can help boost safety and efficiency, as well as supplementing driver shortage needs that we anticipate in 2022 and beyond.
We’re living through and operating businesses in a unique time in history. Arguably, consumers have never been more aware of supply chain disruptions, delayed delivery times and restocking challenges than they are today. Those who understand the inner workings of the industry know it’s overdue for true modernization. As an industry, if we keep our sights set on innovation and continue seeking out creative solutions for pressing issues, 2022 could be a year marked by efficiency, collaboration and perseverance.
Process Tempo knows that supply chain bottlenecks and inefficiencies have lasting, downstream consequences on your operations, from delayed delivery times to goods that never seem to stay in stock. As your organization faces more volatility as part of an increasingly connected, changing world, it's paramount to leverage data and modernization to reduce such inefficiencies at every turn. Now, with Process Tempo, you can. Capture the holistic visibility you need into your supply chain, process critical real-time data, and get the key insight you need at scale to keep your operations on track.
Process Tempo is a Decision Intelligence Data Platform built on industry-leading graph technology. The no-code, collaborative data science, data engineering, and data analytics platform simplifies complex data environments, empowering people, processes, and technologies to work together harmoniously. The secure, governed, high-performance environment delivers actionable data and insight rapidly to all stakeholders, helping to accelerate the delivery of quality, data-driven decision-making and improve business outcomes at scale. Schedule a discovery session