It is important to embrace this age of disruption, and we can expect supply chain operations to change even more dramatically over the next seven years than they have over the last 30 years.
We can expect the following four major trends driving supply chain developments in the next five years:
Increase in speed for adoption of new technologies
Industry 4.0 (ID4.0) is not just a concept. It has become a reality and businesses will need to take heed of the impact it will create. ID4.0 brings together three core technologies of autonomy, Internet of Things and data analytics into an operating model that is targeted to make businesses more efficient and the people involved more effective. In turn, it will lead to further displacement of the workforce that we are already witnessing.
Government’s increased participation in supply chain and logistics development
The level of the government’s direct involvement in the development of various aspects of the supply chain has been on the steady rise, especially in the area of smart cities and cross-border compliance management. While the government’s involvement will lead to an increase in legislation and compliance, it will also add to the stability and create a consistent playing field for everyone. Conversely, whether we will see the stifling of innovation and adoption of new technologies, such as Blockchain, to create a more distributed supply chain platform remains an open verdict.
The Millennial Generation will change the way consumer consumes
The millennials are not as concerned as the Generation X in terms of accumulating wealth and stability – in fact, they do not buy cars, purchase houses or participate in investments the way the last three generations did. They settle down later, change jobs faster, and are less brand-oriented than before. Reaching out to the millennials will require a complete change of mindset and strategies that will have a lasting impact on the supply chain process execution and management.
The Sharing & Gig Economy will enhance the concept of a networked community
In the same premise as the millennial generation, the growing gig economy and a sharing mentality are also changing the way businesses operate. Rather than relying on a fixed structure or a “central body” to authenticate and validate identities and guarantee deliverables, a sharing economy ensures that there is a huge penalty in non-compliance and the use of social media as a means to shame and ostracise will be an even more powerful tool than the usual media engagement. The new digital economy is expected to spread out benefits, although we can still expect new billionaires to be created with this diversion. The next Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos will reveal themselves in the next few years.
If you are thinking of business as usual and growth percentage based on history and forecasting, you will need to think again. To survive and succeed in the next few years, you will need to adopt bold strategies that are right for the new digital era we are in.