The Future of the Supply Chain

The global supply chain is getting pressure from every angle, not the least of which is a lack of people to pick, pack, load and unload goods that, even when they can ship, end up on a vessel that can’t get into a port, or a container that can’t get onto a lorry. Without people, you can’t run a supply chain. Right now, many workers are either cut-off by Brexit, side-lined by Covid, or opting out of the industry altogether. It is a global problem. Going forward, investment in automation and robotics is vital, not just to move products, but also to increase efficiencies. As shoppers increasingly expect next day or even same day delivery, it’s clear brands will have to rely on more technology to meet that demand.

This comes at a long-term cost to society with fewer jobs for people. Warehouses could run dark through the night with robots doing the picking humans used to do. The question is – where do the workers go next? It is a significant topic, and one that will be guided by consumer expectations. While shoppers might want that little black dress overnight, they are increasingly looking at company values, including how they treat workers.

Technology can help brands strengthen their ecosystem with integrations that help streamline operations and provide customers with a better buying experience. And don’t discount the value of data. Actively mining and using customer data can predict buying patterns that help brands move their product to where it needs to be to meet buyer demands.

If there is any silver lining, it is that both brands and consumers are focusing on supply chain like never before. Brands are understanding the true value of partnerships and customers are seeing in a very tangible way the complexity of getting their goods from point A to point B.


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