FuturMaster, the supply chain solution provider that helps a number of major food, retail and manufacturing companies with demand forecasting and streamlining production and supply, has highlighted five defining trends that will earmark the supply chain scene in 2019 and beyond. These include further advances in the development and adoption of artificial intelligence (AI); supply chain worries and uncertainty surrounding Brexit; connected and cloud IT solutions; and increased collaboration as an effective means of cuttings costs and improving efficiencies.
The trends are based on the opinions from industry experts and some of the main issues raised by businesses and various supply chain conferences and studies throughout 2018.
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning: a concept widely spoken about but very few are yet to fully utilise this in their operations. Futurmaster predicts this will change in 2019, pioneered by pharmaceutical, healthcare, cosmetics and retail industries.
- Brexit and supply chain uncertainty: the uncertainty around Brexit is a big pain, said FuturMaster sales director Nick Giuffrida. “For the time being, the very least a supply chain professional should be doing is scenario modelling the resilience of their current supply chain against the various different options which might occur. This will expose areas of risk and may highlight measures possible today, which will provide benefit post-Brexit regardless of the details of the final deal,” he recommends.
- Cloud IT solutions: More companies are moving IT applications to the cloud as an easier and more effective way of adopting standardised processes and best practices and this set to be a continuing trend in 2019.
- IoT and a connected supply chain: The falling costs of wireless tracking devices and the growing accessibility of internet connectivity will see more widespread adoption of this technology in 2019 and beyond.
- Collaboration: Reliable, accurate data shared by everyone is key to improving results, reducing wastage and cutting costs. Achieving this means stronger collaboration between everyone from across every department, including suppliers and retailers more openly sharing data for better results.