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02/17/2022

4 Supply Chain Predictions for 2022

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Global Supply Chain

Industries and consumers across the globe have felt the seismic waves of ongoing supply chain disruptions. As logjams, product shortages, and rising costs persist, retailers and customers are left wondering if or when their stock will come in. 

Bearing the weight of supply chain stress, businesses are more determined than ever to improve their processes and capabilities in 2022. To do this, it will be essential to meet today’s rapidly growing demands, maximize the latest digital transformation capabilities, and protect networks from various threats and cyberattacks. 

Anticipating changing market dynamics will help to mitigate risk and ensure a smooth and successful supply chain future. 

[Related: New Balance Extends Pandemic Pilot to Steer Supply Chain and Labor Roller Coaster]

The Rise of E-Commerce 

This is perhaps the most obvious and commonly understood force affecting today’s supply chains. Consumers are expecting more choices in how they shop and receive products while at the same time demanding faster deliveries and a seamless experience across shopping platforms. 

Consumers are also asking businesses to move beyond traditional product channels to enhance their experience. All around the world, warehouses are jam-packed — some even have products piling up outside their doors. 

Advanced Analytics and Automation 

Luckily, as they continue to accelerate, organizations will be able to better navigate disruption through digital, agile supply chain management. This incredible demand squeeze we’re seeing now represents the longest ongoing expansion peak in five years. 

E-commerce and omnichannel fulfillment will continue to shape the way organizations identify and establish key priorities, creating challenges with regard to scale and network efficiency while producing new opportunities to gain a competitive advantage.  

Digital Supply Chains 

They will continue to be essential in 2022. Digitized networksuse technology to augment workflow and data collection — meaning this has ramifications on both talent and data infrastructures. 

To successfully digitize supply chains, companies require large-scale sensor implementation (IoT), shared internal and external interfaces (cloud-based networks), process automation, and verification (blockchain) with the goal to drive internal and external visibility, ROI, and customer service. 

The adoption of tools such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, and machine learning will meaningfully improve decision-making. Companies that can develop the skills and disciplines needed to maximize the use of these technologies will have supply chains that are not only more efficient, but also more agile and resilient. 

Cybersecurity

Thisis critical to protecting networks from cyberattacks, which continue to be a dominant threat to supply chains around the world. Today, the objectives of cybercriminals go beyond swindling money for espionage. The explosion of data and data-driven organizations through digital tools such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and IoT devices is creating many more areas of vulnerability. 

In this digital environment, cyber hacks can shut down and even take over supply chain transaction systems. While this was possible in a physical supply chain, criminals were not able to cause the same level of damage. 

[Related: Supply Chain in Crisis]

This newfound digital interconnectedness means supply chain partners can inadvertently expose each other and their customers to privacy breaches, identity theft, and worse. Expect greater collaboration when safeguarding networks, devices, people, and programs. In addition, more organizations will choose to invest in redundancy, firewalls, and advanced anti-hacking technologies and employee training.  

Abe Eshkenazi, CEO of ASCM

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