Supply chains of any business need to be on top of the line; otherwise, the inefficiency can cost businesses a lot of losses. Over the years, supply chains have undergone changes to enhance production, shipment, and delivery. However, each passing year introduces new trends, some of which shouldn’t always be considered seriously.
On the other hand, there are some trends which are not only useful but will help many businesses improve their supply chains in the next year as well. The following are some trends for supply chains that you should keep an eye on.
1. The Introduction of Drones
Amazon made headlines with their drone deliveries but these aren’t just a passing trend. In fact, drones are all geared to take an active part in the supply chain of companies. A major reason for this is because they do not have the same limitations as trucks or even trains. Additionally, incidents of traffic congestion can also be overcome with the help of these.
While there is still a lot of red tape behind the use of drones and a lot more technical and regulatory hurdles to overcome, it is easy to see that you shouldn’t disregard drones completely. In 2019, it is possible that they will be more actively used.
2. Automated Vehicles
Self-driving cars and trucks have always been a goal but they will also be actively used in the supply chain industry. The rise of e-commerce has made it a necessity to ensure delivery for consumers which has led to a marked shortage of drivers. While companies are actively increasing their supply chain trucks and more, self-driving vehicles are also being considered to save costs.
Uber and Pizza Hut are already onboard with this idea and Tesla has also launched some models which have partial self-driving options such as emergency braking. Again, this is a technology which is under development but it is being pushed for more since it is said to lower costs associated with transportation.
3. 3D Printing
Over the years, the usability of 3D printing has drastically increased. It’s no longer a toy but a vital tool that is being used in the medical industry. Doctors have successfully printed out hip replacements, ear replacements and more that have worked better for their patients. Additionally, it has also successfully cut down on wait times or searching for the right donor. In the supply chain industry, 3D printing is being considered so that they can minimize costs associated with warehousing and product wastage.
These can be used for goods that aren’t in popular demand; thereby also reducing the company’s warehousing issues. Issues with a replacement part, including ordering them and waiting for delivery can be improved with the help of 3D printing. While their usage in the supply chain is still being considered, the results that 3D printing produces means that they might play a bigger role in the supply chain industry sooner or later.
While 2019 might introduce more challenges, trends, and practices, these are the top ones that you should keep an eye on and consider for your supply chain.
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