The supply chain is in the midst of an evolution that will completely change the way Chief Supply Chain Officers (CSCO) run their organizations, Gartner analysts said during their virtual Supply Chain Symposium, held between October 6 and 8.
The reality is that chiefs are being asked to create organizations that adapt to new changes. While in the past a supply chain had to be efficient and powerful, today it needs to be agile and fast. During the discussion at this symposium, three macro trends emerged that will shape the future of supply chain.
1. Digital business boom
Gartner\'s research shows that CSCOs are struggling to create a more digital and integrated supply chain map. At the same time they are pressured by CEOs who want to make their business more digital.
This adaptation to a more digital model is critical because of the impact that the supply chain has on ensuring the satisfaction and positive experience of consumers, so there is a lot of pressure on managers. This is the largest transformation of the supply chain structure in the longest time and it will not be an easy task.
In this sense, analysts consider culture to be the barrier to consolidating this digital model, followed by legacy technology, usable data, and legacy processes. CSCOs must work with allies to overcome these barriers and materialize CEOs’ ambitions. In these scenarios, it is key to count on companies like Softelinet to undertake these digital transformation processes, as it requires technological solutions tailored to the needs of each company.
2. New competitors and uncertainty
In recent years, uncertainty has been a constant in markets due to various reasons. More than half of CSCOs believe their business is at risk of being shaken up in the coming years and that, in many cases, the risk will come from non-traditional businesses like startups.
High-impact global events such as the US-China trade war and Brexit have increased uncertainty. More recently, the Covid-19 pandemic has raised alarms about future similar scenarios, due to the global closure of supply chains and trade routes.
Managers have the challenge of creating more flexible and resilient chains that can respond more efficiently to the new challenges that generate the emergence of new competitors or unfortunate events of a global nature.
3. Circular economies and sustainability
Circular economies are economic models that separate the ability to generate financial growth from the consumption of natural resources. Supply chain plays a vital role in every part of the cycle: manufacturing, using, returning, recycling, reusing.
A 2019 Gartner report recorded that 28% of companies had begun implementing circular economy forms in their innovation strategies, while 39% planned to do so in the next two years.
For a supply chain to have a circular economy, it must have strong back-up logistics capabilities. According to Gartner, heavy industry sectors are on track. However, this is a trend that no industry should lose sight of, the analysis concludes.