5 supply chain trends happening Now

The article 5 Supply Chain Trends by Robert J, Trent is an accurate representation of the emerging trends in Logistics Management. According to the author, supply chain professionalism is constantly evolving (Trent, 2017). For example, in a supply chain, once-cost managers are now responsible for stakeholder relationship management, risk management, and financial management. The supply chain's daily dynamics are also created and maintained on a daily basis.

The article discusses the current trends influencing supply chain design and management. The five trends were identified by way of research both primary and secondary; and by conversations with the professionals in the supply chain industry. Different opinions arise from such conversations but a common bearing is brought in the likely events of the future as postulated by the professionals. A clear understanding and making distinctions with regards to the impacts on the organization require leadership and yielding to forces that are beyond individual’s control.

The first trend is that the talent management in the supply chain is now becoming necessary strategically. This necessity is seen in the study which revealed that it is crucial to have the right personnel being part of those making the sourcing strategies for success at a global scale. The lack of such people with the right skills and knowledge is a huge barrier to success. The supply chain management is nowadays becoming more complex and global thus making it necessary to have talent management. This is influenced by the demographic changes and involves a talent analytics agenda where sophisticated methods are utilized in analyzing data from the employees. Supply chain mangers ought to focus their efforts in securing, engaging and developing talent among their personnel. There are several ways in which the different organizations can secure talent management and increasing their importance.

The second trend is that the global risk is on a rise thus risk management is essential crucial for every supply chain. Annual Allianz Risk Barometer applied to gauge the risks in organization identified that the supply chain risk is one of the top risk in the global business from 2015 – 2016. Companies thus need to put in place management strategies of risks in their supply chain. The supply chain risk management (SCRM) strategies are crucial in cushioning the organization from the risk associated with the supply chain. Such risks include: hazard risk, financial risk, operational risk and strategic risks.

The third trend is that competitions have transformed the managers of the supply chain into financial managers. The new competition from the non governmental firms and the technological disruptors are pressurizing the supply chain managers. The new rivals operate under distinct rules and demonstrate aggressiveness and agility that outmatch existing organizations. Pressure thus mounts on the existing firms affecting their supply chain especially in terms of the finances. The author alludes to some notes made in the journal of Wall Street which showed that financial management and supply chain management are interrelated. Review by McKinsey researches outline in the Harvard Business Review that with the immense competition and a reduction in trade margins firms employ talents which can manage finances and increase profits. Some of the new responsibilities of the supply chain mangers as financial managers are: knowing their customers and suppliers, gauging themselves with the ‘big dogs’ in the global finance, managing the working capital, reducing expenses while increasing investment and making informed decisions.

The fourth trend is that the supply chain should be keen on growth while embracing innovation and collaboration. The aspect of innovation sourcing entails capitalizing on innovation and abilities of the external supply chains in a bid of increasing the revenue growth. Building collaborative relations is crucial in ensuring that the supply chain performs well. It is important to understanding the needs of the customers and suppliers. This ensures that appropriate response is given in terms of supply. It is also crucial that good relations exist among the firm and their suppliers and customers for business to be conducted. The cooperation of the three is important and influence the revenue generation. Embracing innovation and collaboration is crucial for the supply chain growth and performance.

The fifth trend is that there is need for supply chains to utilize the predictive analytics in understanding and influencing events. Data is important in conducting predictive analysis and is dependent on various factors. The data validity and reliability play crucial position in ensuring that accurate results are predicted based on analysis. Some of the analytics include: descriptive analytics, predictive analytics, prescriptive analytics, telematics, wearable technology, delivery tracking and smart sensors. Data analysis helps firms to plan on the events and management of their supply chain. Understanding the trends in the supply chain is crucial for the attainment of success. The current trends as outlined are real and influence the management in the supply chain for now and the near future.


Robert J. Trent, (March 6, 2017) “5 Supply Chain Trends Happening Now”

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