In the past few years, we’ve drastically changed how we shop for, ship and use products. With supply chains issues making certain products scarce, you may want to know what’s on the horizon for supply chain trends for 2022. Today’s trends show that supply chains are changing more than ever before, continuing to evolve with the changing landscape of consumerism. Paying attention to supply chain industry trends can help your business stay ahead of the curve.
Here’s a closer look at current and future supply chain trends.
1. More Eco-Friendly Systems
With sustainability becoming a crucial part of everyday life, it’s no surprise that even supply chains are going green. Equipping warehouses with timed lights and heating and air conditioning controls to manage energy costs is one way to be more sustainable. As systems are working to produce less waste, supply chain professionals are also looking for strategies to reduce transportation carbon emissions by switching to electric semi-trucks.
Additionally, green supply chains are better in customers’ books, and companies that ship with the Earth in mind can bet on attracting and retaining consumers. It has also become increasingly important for managers to streamline their supply chains to keep up with demand — and sustainability can help. By using more efficient and waste-free practices, like conducting all payments and billing online, supply chains can be more productive.
It’s clear that climate-smart supply chain logistics will play a more prominent role in 2022 and beyond. These changes will have a positive impact on the planet, lowering emissions and reducing waste as ways to support the planet’s health.
2. Increased Automation
Implementing automation in supply chains is still a relatively new idea with plenty of room to grow. Specifically, robotic automation indicates how businesses can streamline their logistics by using drones and driverless vehicles to transport supplies and deliver shipments. Using automation lowers the risk of human error and speeds up packing, deliveries and other processes. Plus, automation frees up your workers to focus on other aspects of the business, like customer experience.
When it comes to 2022 logistics trends, automation is one that comes with a significant amount of controversy. So long as companies use automation in their supply chains wisely, it should prove to be an important and lucrative tool for various systems. By leaving the most repetitive and dangerous jobs to machines, supply chain managers can put their team to work on more meaningful endeavors.
3. Emphasis on the Internet of Things
Many companies have found that utilizing Internet of Things (IoT) devices helps provide them with crucial information about their supply chains, like live updates, tracking and more. Using the IoT in the supply chain and the retail environment helps increase productivity and assist with inventory management, predictive maintenance and customer-facing marketing. These functions decrease downtime, speed up the supply chain and address customer demands and requests with increased proficiency.
With improved product visibility in the supply chain, businesses can optimize their assets and increase their returns on investments (ROI). From smart warehouse gadgets to cloud document services, supply chain professionals can use IoT capabilities to streamline various workflows. As technology becomes more important every day, warehouses should start adapting sooner rather than later.
4. Use of Artificial Intelligence for Elastic Logistics
During a crisis such as a pandemic, marketing fluctuations can make or break a business. Therefore, businesses need to have proficient logistics in place and adapt quickly. Remaining relevant means businesses need to react swiftly and change methods to match the current market. Implementing artificial intelligence (AI) into your supply chain workflow helps adjust production based on market flow. AI also creates minimal downtime during adjustments to market fluctuations.
Allowing the supply chain to expand and shrink on demand is called elastic logistics. The supply chain can adjust itself using AI software and automation devices according to market fluctuations. Utilizing elastic logistics enhances your supply chain production levels so it’s as efficient as possible. With constant changes in transportation schedules, product availability and production environments, elastic logistics help businesses stay on top and thrive amid adversity.
5. Adaptions to E-Commerce Changes
Another area that has seen increased traffic is e-commerce. These days, more people are staying home and traveling less, so shopping online has become increasingly popular — and that likely won’t change much going into 2022. For supply chains, booming e-commerce means it’s essential to increase efficiency to maintain production levels. By now, any business that operates online has been forced to adapt to maintain relevancy and growth.
Of course, e-commerce isn’t just limited to shopping for material goods. Today’s consumers order their groceries online and place takeout orders for delivery with the touch of a button. There are even ways for people to receive prescription medication at their doorsteps. These new kinds of consumer behaviors impact supply chains in various ways. To keep up with demand, businesses must be willing to streamline their practices.
Aside from utilizing technology like AI and the cloud to track and fulfill orders, supply chain professionals must also rethink their products methods. This might mean moving inventory to more convenient locations, sending items directly from suppliers to stores, working with more efficient delivery services and more. Ultimately, being as flexible as possible will help supply chain managers achieve success.
Third-Party Delivery Services to Save the Day
As you work to keep up with logistics industry trends, it’s important to be confident in your ability to get your products to your customers. Don’t let shipping issues be another issue on your plate. The team at ExpressIt offers third-party delivery services that get your deliveries from your warehouse to your clients fast. With options ranging from courier delivery to last mile delivery, you can trust in our ability to get your products where they’re headed.
ExpressIt works with numerous industries, such as manufacturing and healthcare, and we’ve been doing so for nearly 40 years. If you work in a unique sector, feel free to contact us to work out a custom solution — we’re happy to help! Get in touch today so you can leave the deliveries to us.