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Supply Chain Trends and The Future of Supply Chain Management in 2021

Supply chains make up an essential aspect of most businesses. It was predicted that supply chain will spearhead better customer service before the end of 2020. But we all know how Covid-19 affected pretty much everything, let alone supply chains. Not to mention, how it had detrimental effects on businesses.

So, let us see what Supply Chain Management has in store for 2021?

1. Resilience

The pandemic has forced organizations to focus more on how their supply chains operate. There is a growing need for supply chains to adapt, be more flexible and react on a timely basis to sudden disruptions.

In order to achieve resilience, organisations will need to take a step back and take a corrective course if need be on the following:

  • Weak links in the supply partnerships

  • Critical areas on supply chain process that are completely out of control

  • Any possible disruptors in the supply chain

Subsequently, to achieve resistance, supply chains need to focus on:

  • End-to-end shipment tracking

  • Act on insights presented by data

2. Technology to the Rescue

Digital twins such as blockchain and AI can recreate an entire supply chain and its processes in a digital environment with real-time data. This helps in giving a clear picture to businesses on customer orders to orders being delivered through the chain. Moreover, it can help in identifying any gaps in the chain and possible repercussions.

3. Supply Network Collaboration

One thing that 2020 has taught us is to put heavy reliance on collaborations. A single supply chain can be fragile, but a supply network can work its way out to serve the end customer under trying circumstances. Moreover, they can unlock greater value from new and existing partnerships.

  • Lay a foundation with a partnership mission statement which can help in eliminating any friction blocks while effective collaboration

  • Have in place a set of cohesive policies, processes and approvals that can act as a framework for effective partnership

  • Take ownership to avoid a quick plunge in the partnership.

4. Growth in E-commerce

Changes in customer preferences and global pandemic triggered the way we shop. A recent survey revealed that 88% of people plan to continue purchasing online and we expect more and more people to join the e-commerce shopping bandwagon.

This is good news for e-commerce business and will have plenty of opportunities to grow and innovate in the supply chains.

5. Re-shoring

Re-shoring will be a leading trend in 2021 when it comes to supply chain management. Manufacturers will try to reduce dependency on materials produced abroad and may even transfer their overseas business operations to original locations. It may lead to significant advantages such as speedy delivery, superior product quality and quick response to customers.

However, it is important and much needed to adjust the entire supply chain towards a more geographically spread production. Businesses will have to re-determine which parts of their production will be global and which will be local.

2021 will definitely bring in new challenges to businesses in the supply chain. As a managed service provider, IDC Technologies offers global expertise and resources to manage all your supply chain needs extending across the globe for a multitude of product types.


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