Industry Trends

Risk Vs. Reward: What to Expect in Supply Chains of the Future


With the continual introduction of new technologies, policies and advancements, manufacturers are looking to evolve their supply chains, making them more robust than ever before. As manufacturers are saving time, money and resources through strong supply chains, competition in the industry is on the rise.

The future of supply chain management is impacted by many outside factors. From robotics and worker shortages to security and IoT, there is a lot weighing on the success of supply chains moving forward. Here’s a closer look at what we can expect for the future of supply chains. 

The workforce is shrinking.

The manufacturing industry is facing a major problem right now regarding skilled workers in the field. There aren’t enough workers to fill current positions and there are not many future generations looking to join the force. Unfortunately, this has lead to a major skills gap that many industry leaders are currently looking for ways to fill. 

With a lack of workers, supply chains will become more limited. This may lead to a more automated workplace in the future. Manufacturers should practice digital dexterity and quickly implement emerging technologies that promote automation to stay ahead in the industry. 

Robots will cause greater competition.

As automation is continuing to integrate into the workplace, the development of autonomous mobile robots (AMR) is changing the landscape for supply chain managers. AMR is optimizing warehouse management by autonomously completing tasks such as:

  • Inventory tracking 
  • Forklift driving 
  • Goods-to-person picking 
  • Operating aerial vehicles  

This is quickly becoming a cost-effective and accessible solution for manufacturers looking to enhance their process. The normalization of these robots will raise the stakes in the industry, creating greater competition for the fastest, smartest and most efficient process. 

Artificial intelligence will solve many supply chain problems.

The future of supply chains will rely more heavily on AI to solve many inefficiencies they’re currently facing. For example, many customers want to know where their products are and what condition they’re in throughout shipment and delivery. With AI constantly scanning and updating the tracking information for customers, this problem will ultimately be solved down the road. 

AI may also play a role in low-level decision making in the future. Data is collected in any process where AI is implemented. With this data, supply chain leaders can track current trends and information that may influence their strategy moving forward. This will lead to an optimized supply chain system in the future.

The future of supply chains is heavily reliant on where industry trends are headed and what technologies will begin to be implemented in the workplace. While adopting new technology or business models may seem like a risk, they often become rewarding in the future by increasing sales, optimizing processes and keeping your business ahead in the industry. 


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