Supply Chain Management Trends for 2017

posted by Chris Valentine

Supply Chain Management has changed dramatically throughout the last few years and as we enter 2017, SCM looks set to be further dragged into the modern world. This area of industry is being shaped by fast-moving technology and through the demands of fields such as procurement, operations, marketing and engineering. With over 20 years experience in the industry of logistics, Ram Chary offered his us some of his opinions on how the face of SCM is likely to change in the future.

E-commerce concept image

E-Commerce Reinventing Logistics

With the blistering rise of e-commerce and online retailers seeing enormous spikes in people buying from home, companies will have no choice but to further invest in their logistics to avoid packages arriving late. Since the 2013 holiday season meltdown that saw over 2 million packages arrive late, businesses have taken strict steps to ensure that this doesn’t happen again, expect to see a further tightening up of this side of the business in 2017.

Real Time Tracking

Advancements are being made in the tracking of deliveries and we expect to see more of the same as the year progresses. Many companies offer tracking from the moment it leaves the factory and arrives at a warehouse and can give an update of when it leaves the warehouse to be delivered. The new year looks set to offer smarter technology that will allow consumers to follow their delivery in real time until it reaches their door of their home or office.

Drone Usage

Many companies flirted with drone deliveries in the last 12 to 18 months and after ironing out some creases, this looks set to improve and become a more popular trend in 2017. Drones were originally thought of to offer ‘last-mile’ delivery to especially remote or hard-to-reach locations. Interestingly, Ram Chary thinks that drones could take on roles in areas like crop harvesting, warehouse management and even for operations such as manufacturing and quality assurance. These intelligent machines have a vast range of functions, they are cheap to run and operate and will see far heavier use this year.

Vehicle Automation

Employees have long been worried about robots taking their jobs and unfortunately for vehicle drivers in particular, the automation of the industry looks set to continue and be a hot area of investment in SCM this year. Driverless vehicle technology has been improving at break-neck speed and costs for such vehicles are lowering. This will allow many factories and manufacturers to cut down on staff wages in favor of utilizing this machinery for more effective business practice.

These are just some of the hot trends predicted for SCM in the new year, very much in line with new technologies, businesses involved in the logistics of supply chain management continue to look in to cheaper and more effective ways of running things. This year looks set to bring many areas of the industry to fruition which have been sampled over previous years and keep SCM in line with the way the world is advancing.

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