The New Supply Chain Future

Supply chain blog future

Are supply chain issues getting better? Across a myriad of industries, 2020 left a noticeable mark on the reality of supply chains, and many are still recovering from the lasting impact.

Having to manage challenges such as bottlenecks, manufacturer delays, warehousing capacity shortages, port congestion and limited transportation pushed businesses to find new pivotal ways to resolve supply chain disruption and proactively position operations.

Extreme shifts in consumer demand introduced a new reality for supply chains. A healthy logistics plan has evolved to be less linear and more interconnected, synchronizing every stage of the journey for a seamless consumer buying experience.

In the last few years, NXTPoint Logistics Project Management uncovered vital components businesses should apply to prepare for the new supply chain future.

1. Supply Chain Intelligence

Make better, data-driven decisions with supply chain analytics that uncover relevant patterns. Using real-time insights on weather conditions or traffic patterns, or scheduling alerts on product shortages can help executives make more informed decisions about the next steps for issue resolution. Having integrated warehouse management systems (WMS) and transportation management systems (TMS) will enhance visibility and control which will reduce costs, minimize risk and improve accuracy on future consumer demand predictions.

For example, a high-demand industry, such as food and beverage, can tap in to supply chain demand future forecasting by deploying data intelligence to trace patterned food chain processes, from agriculture production to consumers. Forecasting can calculate probable pathways that stimulate communication regarding consumer demand, product velocity and changes in regulation.

2. Speed to Market

No change here – consumers expect fast, efficient product delivery. How can you consistently make this happen, particularly against the backdrop of ongoing uncertainty and circumstances that are beyond your control? By working with partners who deploy a dual strategy of smart technology use and a diverse portfolio of services and locations. 

Real-time visibility into inventory levels and an expansive network of service centers allow for fast, agile pivots for those situations calling for a “Plan B.” Fully integrated technology makes communicating those updates faster, easier and more efficient.

Advanced distribution and fulfillment processes, and optimized reverse logistics are services a modern 3PL provider can add for improved market delivery and a better customer experience. Moving goods from the end-consumer back through the supply chain requires a well-designed reverse logistics strategy to expedite replacements, repairs, or returns. These efficiencies contribute to faster issue resolution, enhanced end-consumer experiences, and quality brand protection.

3. Refresh Internal Processes

If you only do one thing, regularly evaluate your internal supply chain processes and make changes as needed. The past few years have taught us the importance of having a sound plan to better manage supply chain uncertainty. Those disruptions you’ve experienced, learn from them. Reflecting on past challenges can help you redesign a logistics plan with the resources to set new expectations, get creative, and try new avenues that work best for your suppliers, manufacturers, operations, and customers.

Regular evaluation of changing business and consumer priorities – and how your 3PL partner is or isn’t adapting to meet them – is critical. Are speed and quality still at the top of your list, or has cost control emerged as the number-one concern? Your logistics partner should be able to clearly demonstrate how their relationships, scope and reach will help you tackle changing concerns.

It’s becoming more challenging to gauge supply and demand relations in a global market of faster production, competition, flexible manufacturing systems, and a variety of products. Aligning your supply chain procurement needs with a warehousing distribution network is necessary to stay ahead of the curve.

Fine-tune your supply chain experience by partnering with a leading 3PL provider with the resources, asset network, and expertise to propel your business to a new level. At NXTPoint Logistics, our logistics experts can pair the latest supply chain technology to an exclusive network solution that maps the evolving supply chain future. With access to flexible warehousing distribution and fulfillment, FF&E logistics handling, final mile delivery, and real-time inventory tracking with Körber, you can better adjust processes, maintain high-speed delivery, and adapt to innovation.

Learn more about our comprehensive supply chain solutions.