In 2022, you don’t need to look very hard to find reports about challenges in the supply chain. The news is full of stories about things like empty shelves in grocery stores and how cars are difficult to buy because manufacturers are struggling to get the components they need to produce them. While many of those stories focus on problems encountered by consumers at the very end of the supply chain, these problems are often reflections of upstream issues.
As we continue to work through the coronavirus pandemic, things remain far from normal for the supply chain. So, what are some of the biggest supply chain challenges companies are facing today?
A Complex Ecosystem
On top of pandemic-related labor shortages and restrictions, companies are struggling with things like increased freight costs, rapidly changing consumer demand and high expectations, shipping container shortages, backlogs at ports, and shortages of materials and components needed for production.
As frustrating as the end result of these challenges has been for consumers, companies have been working to figure out how to best navigate them. For example, a company may consider switching from working with a supplier based overseas to one located closer to their base of operations to reduce or eliminate issues like high shipping costs, delays at customs or unfavorable exchange rates.
Technology Access and Implementation
Technology has become pervasive in our lives, but accessing the technology needed to optimize the supply chain and using it to its full advantage has long been a problem for businesses. Oftentimes, companies lack the budget to upgrade their technology and when they do, they may have a hard time with things like integration with existing systems.
Data Analysis and Reliability
Once data is collected, there’s the matter of turning that information into insights that serve as the basis for meaningful actions. Data analysis is an extremely common tech-related issue businesses of all sizes are facing. And, very often, businesses aren’t sure whether or not they can rely on the data they do have. Our research has found that 92% of logistics leaders don’t feel that they can trust the data they have about products moving through their supply chain.
One problem that technology could be used to help with is addressing losses in the supply chain. Losses can occur in many different ways throughout the chain, such as damage caused by improper packaging, product contamination, lost products and delays. A digital twin could be used to compare performance of various types of product packaging so that a business could determine which option would best protect the product before the product is ever shipped. And tracking technology for products in-transit can be used to pinpoint exactly where problems are occurring.
Digital Logistics Solutions
With deep industry and supply chain expertise, we offer digital logistics solutions designed with the future in mind. Our solutions enable speed, transparency, connectivity and resiliency, meeting your needs both for today and beyond. Contact us to get started.