At this time of year, it’s not uncommon to see various predictions pop up around what’s happening in our industry and expectations for the next twelve months. However, this change of calendar is more consequential than most, as it marks not just another year but a new decade dawning.
There’s no denying that things have changed significantly over the last ten years (this blog didn’t exist, for one thing!) The retail world has been disrupted in almost every sector, primarily by Amazon but with new brands and digital startups also shaking things up.
Meanwhile, technology has evolved to such a degree that consumers can shop almost anywhere, any time, and expect to see their purchases within a couple of days, if not hours in some metropolitan areas.
From January’s disruptive winter storms to Hanjin’s summer bankruptcy and the annual struggle to meet holiday delivery deadlines, not many months went by without significant upheaval. It’s enough to have fulfillment managers breathing a sign of relief as we head into a New Year.
Supply chain trends rarely adhere to the calendar, of course. Some of the advancements that we expected in 2016 took longer to develop, while others arrived more quickly than anticipated.
It’s been a busy twelve months in logistics and SCM, and the year to come seems set to be no less progressive. Technology, compliance, and data solutions are all likely to be at the forefront of supply chain practices as we move through the year.
To close out 2013, we’ve collected some of the predictions that the industry expects to see for supply chain management in 2014.
Logistics Industry Expectations for Supply Chain Management in 2014
DC Velocity focuses greatly on the tech supporting logistics practices, from smartphone apps to manage back-end systems to more secure solutions for shipment and delivery data.
Freightgate also makes mention of increasingly connected management systems, particularly in the areas of analytics and efficiency, but also makes mention of the need for robust compliance with standards and tighter security.
The Dallas News specifically tunes into the holiday delivery issues faced by some organizations over this festive season, predicting significant changes to delivery guarantees for the holidays in 2014.
Handfield leans heavily towards globalization as providing the biggest challenges for supply chain managers in 2014, including the potential for disruption in emerging markets and diverse regulatory requirements. Compliance is raised again, showing a repetition that will warrant attention from logistics professionals.
Business News Daily sees upheaval in the retail sector, with all the implications that will bring to the supply chains that feed it. Ecommerce and mobile technology feature heavily again, increasing the potential for order taking and fulfillment but also placing increased requirements on the services that process these transactions.
In summary, supply chain management in 2014 is likely to focus heavily on business being done across international borders and the regulatory knowledge that comes with that, as well as the ongoing drive to new technologies. Supply chain managers will do well to read widely on mobile technology and security standards to keep abreast of what is available for their business and clients.
We’ll be there to keep you updated as logistics trends and stories develop throughout 2014, so stay tuned to our Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ pages for all the latest articles.
On behalf of everyone at Capacity LLC, thanks for joining us in 2013 and a very Happy New Year to everyone!