Changing market demands and technological advancements are driving many transformative processes to the supply chains. There is a lot of noise and buzzwords when it comes to trends and technologies that will influence the way supply chains operate. Not all of them can make a huge impact, but there are a couple of supply chain management trends that will actually reshape modern supply chains.

What are the key supply chain management trends in 2020?

Focus on inbound freight management

Supplier relationships will become a primary focus for businesses, especially for retailers. Vendor management is an important aspect of supply chains that defines many factors, from on-time deliveries to your success in sales and customer satisfaction. Apparently, inbound freight management can also cost you way more than it should, if it’s managed and planned by the suppliers. Companies start to recognize the opportunities for improvements within supplier relationships and implement different solutions like vendor management retail programs.

Flexibility and integration

In the upcoming decade, global supply chains will also become more flexible. The need for agility is caused by the fast-paced and changing environment of the global economy. New supply and demand requirements, new trends, and technologies that need to be implemented cause companies to be more flexible in adapting innovations. Businesses who will be more quick and agile in adjusting to the trends are more likely to outrun the competitors and stay relevant in the market.

AI and automation

Certain innovations have already impacted supply chains, and the new decade is expected to bring more AI-driven solutions and advanced software. Technology impacts every link of the supply chain, from data analysis and storing to automated warehouses. AI-enabled software will definitely go from a buzzword to a must-have for global companies.

Circular supply chains

Also, global supply chains are shifting from linear models to circular. In a circular supply chain, unused products are recycled, and the general production cycle is shorter and more efficient. This lets companies save costs on materials and be more sustainable.

Sustainability

Essentially, sustainability and green logistics remain a hot trend in supply chain management. More companies become concerned about their reputation and brand reputation, so eliminating carbon footprint and taking different measures towards sustainability will most likely increase loyalty among customers.