Supply Chain Trends

What Does 2014 Have in Store for The Supply Chain?

2013 was an interesting year in the supply chain industry, and 2014 looks to be just as full of change and development. What can you, as a supply chain professional, expect in the coming year?

Supply Chain Will Continue to Go Global

Multiple organizations are focusing on expansion into new regions. Brazil, Russia, India, and China have become major targets for expansion, and this will bring new challenges with logistics capabilities. There will be a need to partner with local logistics service providers that understand domestic transportation issues and local distribution challenges.

Operational Complexity Will Increase

As globalization expands, so will issues related to labor costs, fuel costs and regulation, which will in turn influence where companies source, where they produce, and the complexity of processes required to sell to their customers. Organizations will need to create more diverse options, including packaging designs and logistics arrangements, to satisfy clients’ need for customized solutions.

Increased Risks of Supply Disruption

With new markets come new risks. For example, when dealing with international clients, your supply chain can be disrupted by unique logistics problems like volcanoes, tsunamis or other natural disasters, or manmade complications such as war. And you may need to deal with ocean freight lines, international labor issues at ports, port capacity and multiple other issues

Governments Will Increase Regulatory Requirements

As the private sector seeks to expand into emerging countries, governments may use regulatory requirements to fine companies for lack of compliance, add additional customs duties and taxes to imports, and use other methods to increase tax revenue. These regulations may make it more difficult to meet increasing customer requirements for reliable product delivery, and make it challenging to be able to plan using normal lead times, inventory requirements, and scheduling.

Data-Based Analytics Will Be the Most Important Supply Chain Technology

The largest growth in new technology investments will be big data technologies and analytics, specifically in RFID and inventory optimization software. Analytics that tie into user requirements, customer responsiveness, and accountability for results will be most likely to be adopted successfully.

Supply Chain Analytics Will Also Be Key

The five business process areas that will need better business analytics: design, source, make (manufacture), deliver, and market (sell). Supply chain engineers will need to study and document the value chain, map the activities, and work with partners to identify critical points in the process where data collection is required.

Feeling uneasy about your organization’s ability to compete in 2014 and beyond? Don’t hesitate to call Pamela Day at ZDA Supply Chain Recruiting. Not only can she share her knowledge of these trends, but she can help you find the people you need to stay competitive!

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