Everyone is suggesting what the trends in Supply Chain Management (SCM) are. Most of the writers agree on a “core” of important trends (sort of like the “motherhood and apple pie” thing. Then there are even some new ones that pop up too. I am going to bring out as many as I find. Where they are not as common, I will provide a link to more information. Read on and tell me if you agree or disagree.
Everyone agrees that Globalization is important and changes the way SCM operates. Likewise, increased Competition and a push on prices is here to stay. Along with competition, Product Life Cycles are getting shorter and requiring more complex solutions. Throughout 2012 we saw a continuing trend for Collaboration with suppliers. The move towards Lean manufacturing and supply chain means an increase in Demand Planning. We have, of course, see the rise of Outsourcing, but keep an eye on Insourcing too. The growing number of SKUs (because of changing customer preferences) for consumer-facing businesses will impact the SCM operation. Consumer products folks are pushing to open Direct-to-Consumer Channels. Last, but not least, is Social Media.
Not necessarily major “trends”, but never-the-less “issues” are important too. An on-going reduction of operating costs, remains the primary mission for supply chain managers. Along with this, companies must keep SCM on the same page as business strategy, for example, concentrating on enhancing customer service and loyalty. SCM continues to play an important role in supplier relationships, faster product-development cycles, and business expansion. E-Commerce will continue to be highly important, especially if the end-user is in near proximity.