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Digital Transformation Drives Supply Chain Restructuring Imperative
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Article | October 19, 2020
Warehouse logistics is the heart of any supply chain operation, assimilating and dispatching goods to ensure availability and timely delivery. With more consumers turning to e-commerce, it’s important for businesses of all sizes to bolster the supply chain to handle the e-commerce business model. According to research conducted by BigCommerce, the top three factors that influence consumers’ online purchasing decisions are convenience, cost and free shipping. In fact, the National Retail Federation (NRF) found that 75% of consumers expect delivery to be free even for orders under $50.
Freight pricing continues to change across the globe. According to Darren Dodson of Material Handling & Logistics, the state of e-commerce will drive the majority of freight rate changes as more than 8.6 billion packages will make their way to U.S. customers in 2020. Traditional demands of the supply chain market, including increased visibility, better efficiency, and faster service, will also force the freight pricing 2020 trends into an upswing. However, the recent events surrounding the coronavirus and potential disruption to the supply chain will serve as a check to keep carriers competitive and help shippers maintain freight spend control.
Innovations such as AI and automation have been tipped to kickstart the Fourth Revolution. While the technology is being widely adopted, it is constantly evolving. Therefore, there is uncertainty surrounding its overall impact, particularly on professional roles within the supply chain. Some fear that the technology will replace its human counterparts, while other experts suggest it will work in unison with humans, supporting them to focus on higher value opportunities. Amidst all of this uncertainty one thing is for certain: AI and automation will change how we operate.
Was the cobalt in your phone dug up by a child miner or the cotton for your clothes farmed by slave labour? How much CO2 was emitted or plastic wasted manufacturing the cars we drive? Impossible questions for the end consumer, and deeply challenging for producers themselves, but new technology could finally be providing sustainable supply chain solutions.
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