As 2012 comes to a close, business owners and supply chain managers are preparing for the year ahead by examining their current strategies and forecasting their success in 2013. The supply chain and its importance continue to gain deserved attention. These are the most promising SCM trends for 2013.
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Dynamic Supply Chain Management
In the past, supply chain managers and financial officers did their best to predict their supply chain needs for the upcoming period. They would develop strategies and forecasts based on their findings, paving the way for the upcoming quarter. The costs and risks associated with the supply chain are constantly fluctuating, however, so static predictions are never foolproof. Mark Woodward, CEO of E2open, expects a more dynamic approach for 2013 with real-time monitoring making the supply chain more efficient.
Collaborative and Digital Management
Innovative companies are developing networks that keep every link of the supply chain connected. “Online partner communities will create virtual war rooms where teams can solve problems quickly and collaboratively,” Woodward says. Social media involvement, cloud technology, speech recognition, and mobile communications will keep each team member informed on the latest industry news. Collaboration will involve every level of the supply chain, from marketing to distribution, and plays a big role in dynamic management.
Supply Chain Sustainability
Consumers continue to expect socially and environmentally responsible practices from the brands they do business with. Smart managers know that sustainability begins with the supply chain. Adrian Gonzalez with Logistics Viewpoints predicts that “the rising cost of diesel and sustainability goals” will continue to drive companies to use “alternative fuel vehicles — including natural gas, electric, and hybrids — in their transportation operations.” Companies will favor fair trade suppliers and those with eco-friendly practices when they build their supply chain network.
The year ahead holds terrific profit potential for companies that pay attention to the current trends in supply chain management. Value will be the primary focus, along with strategic partnerships at every level. [/show_to]
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