Organizations are pushing themselves on all fronts to be competitive and sustain themselves in the modern marketplace. They are forcing all business functions to perform at their most efficient level. Improvements in selected business functions could lead to drastic changes in creating a competitive advantage. Supply chain management is one such business function where innovations and increased efficiency can lead to remarkable performance improvement. Add to that the fact that a modern-day customer is very demanding; it puts added pressure on supply chain management to innovate and introduce new and efficient practices.
So, here are some such trends and practices that are changing the landscape of supply chain management:
#1 – The Rise of Click and Collect Delivery Model
Numerous reports state that more than 10% of sales have come through the click and collect model for major retailers in the UK. The future for click and collect model looks bright as the numbers are constantly rising. The click and collect model also significantly improves a retailer’s revenue and customer satisfaction by ensuring faster and reliable deliveries, saving real estate cost, and increasing their reach.
#2 – Last Mile Connectivity
Last mile delivery is the most cost-intensive process of supply chain management. In an effort to get a hold of this cost, new methods have emerged in the market. For instance, Walmart has resorted to crowdsourcing to encourage its customer to deliver online orders to online shoppers located nearby by giving them discounts. Another breakthrough in last mile connectivity is the successful testing of Amazon Prime Air, which delivers a package with the help of drones.
#3 – Collaboration to Optimize Supply Chain
Majority of the supply chain models of companies do not operate at full capacity at all times. Businesses can save time and money by sharing resources such as a warehouse, transport vehicle, or delivery systems. For instance, Flexe is a collaboration platform that allows companies to rent out extra warehouse space to those organizations that need them.
#4 – Next-Gen Technologies
Supply chain management professionals increasingly depend on new technologies to boost their performance. The ability of millions of devices to communicate with numerous sensors opens up a wide range of possibilities from tracking the location of the product to disclosing its condition. IoT, big data analytics, and machine learning can create a paradigm shift in how companies manage their inventory, logistics, and forecasting so that they can reduce wastage and increase profitability.
#5 – Automation and Robotics
Automation and robotics have found its use in multiple aspects of supply chain management. They can be used in inventory counting, perform repetitive tasks, and assist in picking, packing, and sorting. Apart from robotics, automation could be leveraged to place an order, which is low in stock automatically.
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