The COVID 19 pandemic disrupted nine out of ten things all around the world and more so among all the industries e-commerce is continuously facing increased supply pressures to keep up with the increased demand due to the shift of a significant number of consumers to online platforms for shopping from perishable to non-perishable items all around the world. This has compelled suppliers to take up innovative ideas to keep up with the increased pressure which has resulted in the birth of new trends from next-level automated warehousing to need of the hour social sustainability. Let us have a look at upcoming trends for the year 2022.
AI and Machine learning
The increased complexity of the global supply chain demands a constant shrinking of chances of error. The world is left more so connected virtually post-pandemic which requires businesses to be super-efficient. The rising expectation between businesses, suppliers, and consumers further intensifies the need to utilise the capacities of AI and machine learning. There exist deep-rooted inefficiencies and gaps which AI and Machine learning can catch with precise peculiarities that the human brain is not capable of. AI in supply helps businesses with support to deliver at the lowest possible cost, higher quality, advanced capacity planning, and increased output per unit while ensuring safer work environments for the workforce.
Robotics in logistics
Robotics in logistics means employing robots to perform regular acts such as taking orders, delivery, inventory management, transportation, packaging, and routing, etc. among many other processes. With the advent of e-commerce getting goods from doors of business warehouses to the doors of consumer houses have become a humongous task due to multiple requests at a single point in time. The solution for this is to let the robotics handle the manual work to bolster productivity at far much lower costs. Small and medium businesses should learn from retail giants such as Amazon and Walmart who have already deployed such technology in their warehouses. Off course it isn’t possible for small and medium businesses to completely overhaul the current workforce and deploy robots but eventually the process can be made familiar with robotics to stay ahead of others.
Blockchain technology is an important asset for organisations because it helps them build a transparent supply chain mechanism. It can greatly improve supply chains by enabling efficient and faster delivery of products, improving coordination between stakeholders, improving traceability of products, and increased access to finance. All these benefits are availed because of how blockchain is structured, where it is a distributed ledger available to multiple parties for recording transactions in a secure manner. It requires no central administering authority for transactions to happen. It is valuable because it comprises a chronological order of blocks that integrates all the details regarding the transaction. All the blocks are encrypted and distributed among the participants who maintain their respective copies. These features make blockchain a trustworthy technology.
Internet of things
It is an assortment of interconnected physical devices which can manipulate data according to the requirement. The devices are connected via the internet. IoT devices use sensory features like chips and smart devices to gauze the features of things like temperatures, light, movement, etc. around them. An effective supply chain management uses technology such as GPS to track the movement, storing conditions in any part of the world and the exact time when goods can be expected to be delivered, etc.
Social sustainability will be a relevant trend in 2022 as post-pandemic the workforce has been seen experiencing high employee turnover rate has forced warehouse and logistics companies to focus on workers and ensure they stay relevant with times. It means they have to appropriately empower the workforce and provide them with education and skills at par with ongoing changes and trends in the industry. These acts will ensure that the workforce is less likely to quit or get fired based on a lack of relevant skillset. Constant hiring and firing of workers is a resource and time-consuming task. Thus social sustainability is an empowering tool for both the employer and employees.
Automated warehousing is a concept where with the help of technology activities of the warehouse are made efficient, accurate, and safe. It has become a crucial tool to increase profits. The technology supplements the workforce to maximize their productivity.