The 5 innovative trends transforming supply chain management in 2024
The year 2024 is poised to be a period of significant changes in the field of supply chain management, driven by rapid technological advancements and a growing demand for effective and sustainable solutions. Let's take a closer look at the five trends that will shape the landscape of supply chain management in this new year.
1. Resilience and Real-Time Implementation
This year, the transition from real-time analysis to real-time execution proves to be vital for supply chains. According to a Gartner study on the future of logistics, although 95% of chains demand quick responsiveness, only 7% can make instant decisions. The lack of real-time execution means that, even with precise knowledge of the actions to take, their implementation is delayed. By 2028, the adoption of real-time operational processes is expected to quintuple. The future supply chain will automate processes and improve performance across the entire value chain.
Numerous changes have occurred in recent years, with significant development in real-time alert-oriented solutions. Examples include real-time transport visibility solutions like Shippeo and Wakeo, providing predictive ETAs for efficient transport management, and process mining solutions like Celonis or Signavio, allowing auditing of business processes and identification of precise levers for performance improvement. Going beyond identifying deviations and their root causes, supply chain organizations need to take corrective actions instantly, aligned with the timelines of their operations.
To develop real-time operational capabilities, a supply chain organization must follow three steps:
- Ensure real-time access to data throughout the supply chain.
- Develop the ability to analyze this data instantly.
- Real-time decision-making should naturally lead to a demand for real-time execution.
Logistics directors must overcome the challenges of traditional technologies and data scarcity while leveraging appropriate technologies, without overwhelming with unnecessary information. This need to link the structuring of business information, its real-time dissemination to all stakeholders, and the ability to act on this data to adjust real-time flow execution and thus limit the impact of deviations on the entire value chain is part of Winddle's DNA, with uses based on real-time personalized alerts, end-to-end collaboration, and real-time synchronization of business data.
2. Increasing Use of Generative AI and Advanced Technologies
In an increasingly connected world, the rise of Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other advanced technologies is fundamentally redefining supply chain management. In parallel with innovative concepts such as digital twins, which are virtual replicas of physical objects or processes, these advancements offer unparalleled opportunities to optimize and perfect logistics operations.
Generative AI, in particular, becomes a crucial pillar of digital transformation. By 2024, its widespread adoption will enable proactive demand anticipation, dynamic optimization of logistics routes, and significant operational cost savings. The advanced algorithms underlying these technologies will provide optimal inventory management, accurately predicting market fluctuations and identifying consumption patterns specific to each product.
This revolution is not limited to a few industry giants. Innovative companies worldwide, inspired by the advances of players like Amazon and Alibaba, are integrating these technologies into their supply chains. The ability to anticipate buying trends, optimize delivery routes, and dynamically adjust stock levels based on demand patterns becomes the norm to remain competitive.
In harmony with the principles of digital twins, these advancements allow creating virtual replicas of the entire logistics network. By simulating different scenarios, companies can optimize their operations, proactively prevent potential problems, and gain an in-depth understanding of flows. This strengthens the value proposition, enabling proactive management, predictive maintenance, and strong agility within the supply chain.
Thus, the integration of generative AI and advanced technologies into supply chain management represents a key step toward operational efficiency and increased competitiveness while remaining aligned with global industry trends.
3. More Transparency and Traceability
In the evolving landscape of supply chain management in 2024, the increasing expectations of consumers and sustainability imperatives are major catalysts for transformations. At the heart of these changes, the need to establish increased transparency and unparalleled traceability emerges as the third flagship trend that will redefine the logistics landscape in the coming year.
Blockchain technology emerges as an essential solution in 2024 to ensure product traceability. By recording each step of the procurement process immutably, blockchain ensures the authenticity of products, reinforcing consumer trust. Industry leaders, such as Walmart, have already adopted blockchain to ensure traceability of food products, offering valuable insights for other sectors such as pharmaceuticals and the textile industry.
By integrating these technological advances, the supply chain can create an end-to-end traceability ecosystem. This approach, supported by technologies such as Cloud, the Internet of Things (IoT), and digital identities, allows generating a virtual twin of each product. This virtual twin provides real-time visibility into raw materials, the journey through the supply chain, interactions with consumers, and recycling-related information.
4. Sustainability as the Pillar of Tomorrow's Supply Chain
Motivated by increasingly informed and environmentally conscious consumers, sustainability emerges as one of the fundamental pillars of supply chain management, leading to a significant transformation in logistics practices and the retail sector. Companies face a dual imperative: meet growing requirements while adhering to regulatory standards encouraging waste reduction and recyclability. The rising consumer expectations for responsible consumption, combined with the imperatives of sustainable development, have led companies to rethink their strategies by integrating environmentally friendly practices at all levels of the chain.
An example is Unilever, which has made the ambitious commitment to make 100% of its packaging recyclable by 2025 while working to reduce its carbon footprint. This approach illustrates the growing trend of companies adopting sustainable packaging and exploring sustainable farming practices for their raw materials.
In this context, Winddle positions itself as a crucial partner for companies seeking to effectively integrate traceability, transparency, and sustainability into their supply chain. The Winddle platform offers real-time visibility across all stages of the chain, direct mobilization of stakeholders at the source of information, fostering proactive management of product data, suppliers, and carbon footprint reduction.
5. Adapting the Value Proposition for Supply Chain Operators
Finally, adopting an Employee Value Proposition (EVP) conducive to choice and innovation in working methods is a decisive imperative in 2024 for supply chain operators, as also highlighted by the Gartner study. With the significant disruptions in supply chains in recent years and the increasing complexity of flows, the major challenge lies in identifying and retaining competent supply chain profiles in the job market, as revealed by the 2022 global employment survey.
About 20% of logistics chain employees have sought employment in the last year, and this situation is reflected in companies, where 54% of logistics chain actors indicate that recruitment difficulties have hindered or slowed their activities. Chief Supply Chain Officers (CSCO) are actively responding by investing to improve the experience and value proposition offered to employees (EVP).
The use of modern management tools, offering collaborative, flexible, and agile uses like Winddle, for example (Collaborative Supply Chain Management Platform) aligned with everyday operational challenges, actively contributes to the valorization of procurement and logistics teams and their quick takeover of new subjects and processes, and their retention.
By reducing operational frictions, user-friendly, powerful, and connected IT Supply Chain tools contribute to creating a motivating professional environment where employees can fully engage, thus strengthening the employee value proposition within the logistics chain.
In conclusion, the five emerging trends in supply chain management in 2024 reflect a changing landscape, shaped by real-time visibility, sustainability, transparency, traceability, not forgetting the central place of humans in all this, and the importance of team well-being at work. Challenges that we have been addressing for several years with Winddle, a collaborative platform for tracking supply chain flows, and more than ever this year!