Supply Chain Trends To Watch Out For In 2018

With optimal utilization, companies can make their operations flexible enough to expand and shrink capabilities to align with the demands within the supply chain model at a given time

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Editor’s Note: Kushal Nahata, Co-founder & CEO of FarEye.

Digital disruption caused by cloud computing, mobility, AI and analytics is enabling breakthrough innovation in the Supply Chain industry. Changing consumer preferences and the increase in purchasing power, has led to an exponential growth of eCommerce in developed and developing markets.

On the other hand blurring boundaries between the countries have opened up the market for cross-border eCommerce thus creating a need for organisation to transform digitally. According to BCG, global cross-border eCommerce will reach between $250 billion and $350 billion in 2025, up from $80 billion in 2014 with Asia, Europe and North America accounting for 40%, 25% and 20% of the market respectively.

CxOs are mulling over ways to gain 360-degree visibility of the logistics processes, driving productivity and creating new revenue streams. With companies around the world experimenting with digital technologies like AI & Blockchain, while doing the pilot with drone deliveries and self-driving vehicles, Supply Chain and cross-border growth is spurred with technological progression that is aimed at improving speed of deliveries, enhancing delivery happiness scores and perfect order scores, at the time of delivery.

Together, blending the study on the technology advancements and the emerging logistics models FarEye has predicted the way the Supply Chain and Logistics will shape up in 2018.

Rising Demand For Data-Driven Logistics

In the ever-changing logistics business, companies will continue to adopt big-data algorithms, data-visualisation techniques and smarter analytics to boost process efficiency and shorten the delivery times. However, the big change in 2018 will be that the companies are expected to use geography-specific data to anticipate demand of certain products in a region and ship in advance.

Perfect Order Deliveries

Perfect orders are the ultimate measure of customer satisfaction. Perfect orders are the percentage of orders delivered to the right place, with the right product, at the right time, in the right condition, in the right package, in the right quantity, with the right documentation, to the right customer, with the correct invoice. According to a recent survey, only 84% of all orders can be termed as perfect orders, in order to reduce the losses companies will take the aid of technology and achieve the perfect order mark.

Rise Of Elastic Logistics

CxOs plan their operations in order to meet the demand fluctuations. Flexible automation solutions increase the agility and elasticity of the logistics infrastructure to meet market fluctuations, cost effectively. With optimal utilization, companies can make their operations flexible enough to expand and shrink capabilities to align with the demands within the supply chain model at a given time. 2018 is expected to a year driven by elastic logistics.

Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain

Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence has hit the logistics industry early this year and it is expected to become automate the Logistics companies for its impenetrable way to store and share the transactional data and improve credibility with a secure transactions. For example, a customer's identity proof is available digitally through a blockchain based structure, there is no way it can be fudged by him at the time of delivery. Similarly, the unique blockchain enabled registration number of every bike can be mapped against the job IDs.

Increased Adoption Of Drones And Smart-Glasses

With automation and mobility being the support system to survive the competition, integration with smart glasses will make deliveries easier by hands-free route searches, face recognition for error-free deliveries and personalized deliveries. With the rise in unmanned aerial vehicles and smart glasses adoption, the operational efficiencies of first and last mile logistics is expected to increased along with flexibility and speed of deliveries in completed and congested cities.

Alongside, adapting digital operations, logistics companies globally are trying to set up and meet their sustainability goals - majorly by reducing their carbon footprints. According to the World Economic Forum, companies like UPS, DHL, SABMiller and Nestle are amongst the top companies that are focused on sustainability. With an objective to reduce the carbon footprints, logistics companies are expected to aggressively adopt industry's best practices by 2020.

Overall, 2018 should be an exciting time for logistics, as the modern-age technologies will be harnessed for driving productivity, increasing delivery experience score and creating new revenue streams while building an agile and a sustainable Supply Chain in parallel.


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