Supply Chain Innovations to Watch For in 2020

As the 2010s come to a close, and we enter a new decade with the 2020s, the supply chain industry continues to grow and expand. While supply chain technology will be considered an always-evolving industry, there are several main areas of supply chain innovation to watch for in 2020.

Automation, Reducing Human Need (But Not Eliminating It)

Robotics and artificial intelligence are being used more and more in supply chain technology, and this will continue into 2020. With the emergence of drone technology and self-driving vehicles, supply chains will continue to evolve.

There are certainly costs associated with maintenance of the new technology. It has been suggested that an alternative could be allocating these financial resources to infrastructure and training humans to be more efficient to benefit a company’s supply chain.

Around the world in 2020, automated robots will be used more often in warehouses to complete repetitive tasks. This will reduce the need for humans in these positions and will actually free them up for other responsibilities to improve the overall customer experience.

Supply Chain Integration and the Internet of Things (IoT)

In an effort to become more efficient, more and more businesses are integrating supply chain technology into their overall business operations. The information that can be found in a supply chain can help improve a company throughout every facet of its business.

Many companies, especially small and mid-sized organizations, are evaluating how to leverage supply chain strategy as a competitive sales weapon. To do this, it often makes sense to partner with a supply chain technology company. By working with outsourced technology and supply chain experts, business owners and executives are free to focus on their core businesses instead of  supply chain, logistics, and technology.

By using the Internet of Things (IoT), businesses will see increased productivity. The future of IoT is predicted to lead to a 15 percent productivity increase in the delivery and supply chain industry. IoT is continuing to expand at a rapid pace and is one of the leading causes of new supply chain innovation. The availability of inexpensive and reliable sensors to provide real-time tracking information and the massive increase of storage and processing capabilities in the digital era are all assisting in this regard.

Adapting to Shorter Product Lifespans and Quicker Consumer Demand

The key for any supply chain is to be as efficient as possible. We live in a society where nearly anything can be purchased and delivered the next day, if not sooner. Products can go viral overnight and have overwhelming demand. Going into 2020, it is going to be very important for supply chains to keep up with the level of demand by streamlining their supply chain technologies.

Product lifespans are also changing, with consumers wanting the “next big thing” sooner and sooner. Companies will have to adapt in order to continue to produce at the level that the consumer expects. This may involve optimizing the legacy supply chain for new product/service introduction, entry into new markets, or proliferation of a company’s technology architecture.

As supply chain innovation continues to evolve over the next decade, Nexterus will continue to be on the cutting edge. Click here to learn more about opening your own Nexterus franchise.