Saturday, October 4, 2014

Supply chain trends and the what to look out for

To put together all of the pieces of Supply Chain Management, I wanted to summarize what the key trends in Supply Chain Management are and in what direction they are moving. I researched different sites and articles that narrowed down what they believed to be the top SCM priorities. I noticed a few commonalities between what experts believe to be the focus of Supply Chain Managers going forward:

·      Supply Chain Analytics – Companies should invest in technology or software that analyses supply chain processes. Though an extra cost, investing in analytics can help solve problems, make the supply chain more efficient and prevent future problems from occurring.

·      Online Sales – With online shopping growing, inventory control and management become difficult. Supply Chain Managers need to adapt to a fast moving supply chain and a growing demand for customer service needs

·      Big Data – Companies now have access to large amount of data that can help them analyze their markets and demand. This information can be used to make supply chains more efficient and improve.  

·      Market Segmentation – Supply Chain Managers should take the time to understand the demands of an industry’s customers. Inventory distribution management should be aligned with the demands of customers.

·      Technology – Technology is rapidly changing companies need to be able to adapt their supply chains to these changes. With things like SaaS and 3D printing becoming a trend, companies need to be able to adapt and learn to leverage these technologies to make their supply chains more efficient and effective.   

·      Centralize Information - Because a market can move very quickly, it is very important that a supply chain become more centralized. A manager should know what supplies are available and where inventory is in order to meet the customers’ needs. Information needs to be in one place and constantly updated.

There are of course many other trends that relate to the components of a supply chain that are important. These are the commonalities I found and the topics that I felt related to our course. A key takeaway is that supply chains management is constantly changing, and the managers needs to pay attention to the trends and new technologies available to improve their supply chains. 

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