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How Can You Future-Proof Your Supply Chain?

Whether we like it or not, the supply chain industry is going through a massive change. Over the past few decades, there have been tremendous advancements in technology. And with those advancements came higher demands and expectations from customers. Therefore, the near future of the supply chain will be a make-it-or-break-it test for a lot of companies. This begs the question of whether it is possible to future-proof your supply chain and ensure that your company will stay in business. Well, there are ways. But they are far from easy.

Ways to future-proof your supply chain

The future of the supply chain is all about efficiency, reliability, and accessibility. If you are to compete with other companies, you will need to ensure that your routes are as efficient as possible, both in terms of fuel and time. You will also have to ensure that the clients have live updates of their shipments and are adequately informed about any changes.

Finally, you will have to build relationships with your clients and maintain a healthy public image. Luckily, most of these issues can be made much easier with modern technologies. Therefore, your primary goal for ensuring your supply chain’s future is to modernize various aspects of it as much as possible.

Full-scale digital integration

For most of its history, shipping has been quite a complicated process. From loading to storing, transporting, change of vehicles, and unloading, there were dozens of checkpoints that shipments went through. So much so that companies had a hard time keeping track of shipments and following where individual containers were.

Well, if you are to keep up with the modern supply chain, all of this needs to be a thing of the past. The upcoming industry standard will require full-scale digitalization. This means that all information regarding a single shipment can be seen on a single device, from the shipping info to its current location and ETA. Every bit of information collected from suppliers, distributors, and end-point distribution needs to funnel into a single device. And that information needs to be easily transmitted to customers.

Furthermore, if you wish to relocate your office for some reason, you do so with relative ease. The availability and digital nature of this approach will allow you to transfer your business stress-free, as long as you hire a reliable company. So, do yourself a favor and invest now in full-scale digital integration.

Automated systems for supply chain management

With full digitalization, you will have the option to automate systems for supply chain management. If you can afford it, you should look into this as it will soon become the norm. What is more, within a couple of years, the industry will be overrun with robotics, AI, and possibly even self-driving vehicles.

Humans will still have to play a certain role, as not everything can be automated., but expect that a large part of the supply chain will be. It will reduce human error, increase efficiency, and improve reliability.

Alongside this, there is freight optimization technology that is continuously improving routes and working with data that no human can take into account. So, it won’t be long before human managers are so inefficient that they will practically be out of the race.

Our advice is to stay ahead of the curve and automate your systems as much as possible, especially if they are used for transporting vegetables, fruits, medical supplies, or anything else that requires special conditions.

Building long-term relationships with suppliers

As the customer demand grows, so does their expectation of reliability and efficiency. This means that being reliable, efficient, and accurate will be a must. Unfortunately, mistakes do happen, even to the best of companies. And if you are to keep your suppliers even after you’ve made a mistake, you need to work towards building long-term relationships.

The foundation of this is, of course, quality service and fair prices. But if there is anything more you can do to help build a strong relationship, do it. The upcoming years should see multiple companies close down, which means that there will be a high demand for reliable supply chains. Therefore, do your best to tighten up your service and maintain good relations.

Synchromodal transport

Multimodal transport is practically a must for any serious shipping company. But, with the advances in logistics technology and communication, we can safely assume that synchromodal transportation will soon become the norm. To put it simply, this is the next step in the evolution of multimodal transport. It combines all the technologies that we’ve mentioned, along with state-of-the-art vehicles, to provide efficiency and reliability like never before.

We are talking live route correction based on data and probability, along with notification and expected alterations to the original route – all within a fraction of a second. This technology is not yet widespread, as it is quite expensive. But, again, we wouldn’t be surprised if, within ten years, this becomes the norm.

Invest in proper PR management

As you might have guessed, keeping clients will not be your only concern. To make it in the upcoming years, you will also have to deal with PR. This includes everything from online presence to client management. The key thing is to maintain a flawless record in order to acquire good ratings.

Keep in mind that there are no shortcuts when it comes to public relations. So, set yourself up properly, and don’t shy away from hiring professional help. Outsourcing logistical services are what all big companies do.

Final thoughts

Some of you might say that these changes seem costly. And we completely agree that none of them is something that you can implement lightly. But, if you are to future-proof your supply chain, you will need to make significant investments. We also believe that decarbonization will be a substantial factor in the upcoming years, which is worth looking into. If it is any consolation, these investments will soon pay off as they will skyrocket your efficiency, productivity, and reliability.