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Insider Insights on The Supply Chain Trends In 2024

about 1 month ago by MTC Recruitment
Supply Chain Blog March 2024

In the fast-paced realm of global commerce, supply chains serve as the lifeblood of economies, connecting manufacturers, distributors, and retailers in an intricate web. As we move forward into 2024, the landscape of supply chain management continues to evolve, shaped by: 

  • technological advancements,

  • geopolitical shifts, and

  • ever-changing consumer demands.

In their recent report, Supply Chain Trends 2024, KPMG offers valuable insights into the key developments shaping this critical domain. One of the biggest trends highlighted by KPMG is the increasing integration of digital technologies into supply chain operations. Artificial intelligence, Blockchain, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are set to revolutionise traditional supply chain models, enhancing: 

  • visibility, 

  • efficiency, 

  • sustainability, and 

  • responsiveness. 

So, what are our thoughts on this? 

Our General Manager (GM), Dale Smith, put the article in context for MTC Recruitment’s audience. “The reality is that AI is here and it’s happening. It is being integrated into businesses of all shapes and sizes, however, I don’t believe the data collection that is being referred to here will be happening in the near term with small businesses. The question is how do small (and some medium businesses) remain competitive in the face of these changes.”

While that’s the current state of play for small and medium businesses, keeping up to date with the transformation is vital so let’s take a quick look at what these technological advances have in store for businesses and their supply chains. 

Digitalisation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) – the game changers

Since AI exploded onto the public radar with the launch of ChatGPT, we’re now seeing an evolution in this game-changing technology as we move up from AI to Generative AI. Generative AI appears to be the word of the year in 2024. So much so that a recent survey by Gartner revealed that 70% of business leaders believe the benefits of Generative AI outweigh the risks.

Here’s a quick look at how we expect the upcoming digital evolution will positively impact supply chains.

1.    Real-time data collection

We’re always talking about and trying to find ways to become more proactive – well, here’s our chance. By leveraging AI-driven predictive analytics, companies can anticipate demand fluctuations with greater accuracy, optimising inventory management and minimising costly disruptions by discovering new trends and patterns that may otherwise not be apparent.

2.    Enhanced safety and reduced volatility

Does the challenge of achieving security and resilience in the supply chain sound familiar to you? These issues could be a thing of the past as Blockchain technology promises unprecedented transparency and traceability. In turn, this enables stakeholders to: 

  • track the journey of products from source to shelf, 

  • boost trust and 

  • mitigate risks associated with counterfeiting and fraud.

Backed by industry giants such as Microsoft, IBM, and Deloitte, to name a few, we can already see the leverage that Blockchain has on the supply chain industry. And, if statistics are anything to go by, Blockchain is set to see a 34.5% market growth by 2028. But only time will tell!

3. Multi-domain integration

We’re living in a hyper-connected world. So, it’s no surprise that businesses are adopting a multi-domain integration approach. Enter the Internet of Things (IoT). Now what is IoT - you may ask? Simply put, the Internet of Things refers to objects embedded with sensors and technology for data collection with connectivity to devices. 

The increase in IoT devices opens doors to smart-interconnected supply chains, where every link is seamlessly connected and constantly communicating. Imagine smart warehouses with autonomous robots and vehicles with real-time tracking capabilities. IoT-powered supply chains are enabling companies to: 

  • Unlock new levels of agility and resilience. 

  • Adapt to unforeseen challenges.

  • Capitalise on emerging opportunities with eyes and ears everywhere.

“As this technology filters down into smaller businesses, what will occur is a more efficient warehouse and logistics supply process. This will probably mean the removal of a low-end workforce and things becoming more automated.” GM Dale Smith said. However, our GM further notes, “This is not a near-term change for small to medium businesses, so it will be interesting to see how quickly (or slowly) they adopt.”

Sustainability reigns supreme 

Growing concerns about climate change have us all thinking about ways to reduce our carbon footprint.

Because of this, the KPMG report also underscores the growing importance of sustainability and ethical considerations in supply chain management. After all, more than 90% of an organisation's greenhouse gas emissions and 50% to 70% of operating costs are attributable to supply chains(Ernest and Young).

Consumers are increasingly prioritising eco-consciousness and ethical sourcing. Hence, companies are under mounting pressure to ensure their supply chains are environmentally sustainable and socially responsible. From reducing carbon emissions and minimising waste to promoting fair trade practices, businesses must proactively address these concerns to safeguard their brand reputation and secure long-term viability.

Getting ready for the supply chain revolution

During a time of unprecedented technological innovation, heightened environmental consciousness, and geopolitical turbulence, the world of supply chain management stands at a pivotal juncture in 2024.

By taking note of the insights offered by KPMG's comprehensive report, businesses can chart a course toward supply chain excellence. How? By harnessing the power of technology, sustainability, and collaboration to navigate the complexities of the modern global economy while moving with the times.

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