Many of our clients rely on Infor Supply Chain Management (SCM) to get the real-time visibility, control, and insights they need to make data-driven decisions to improve delivery and operate an efficient supply chain. These clients, and others, have been on a bit of a roller coaster over the past two years as an operation that typically remained behind the scenes was thrust into the spotlight as supplies began dwindling and grocery shelves went bare. Now, supply chain management has become top of mind for many organizations, as it is critical to success, growth, and survival.
As our clients and other supply chain professionals head into another year, the future looks to be similar to the past due to COVID-19 variants and the heightened geopolitical climate. Here are a few trends to look out for in 2022 that are likely to impact your operations.
1) Transportation Rates Will Remain High
As supply shortages continue, transportation rates will stay at record-high levels, especially ocean containers. There could be a reprieve in the second half of the year as supply rates start to level out, but organizations need to plan and budget for higher costs. This is one place where your SCM solution can help optimize costs by giving you a single view across orders, shipment, and inventory. With that information, you can start making smarter decisions about budgeting for fluctuating transportation costs.
2) Supply Chains to Move Closer to Home
Many organizations are doing everything they can to prevent another supply chain nightmare like what we experienced near the start of the pandemic. Now is the time to examine every part of your supply chain, and maybe consider bringing vital products closer to the finish line. (After all, nobody wants a repeat of a world without toilet paper.) By making these adaptations, you’ll be better prepared to handle future spikes in demand.
3) Organizations Will Stock Up on Critical Supplies to Avoid Backlogs
Similar to Trend #2, businesses aren’t going to want to find themselves with empty shelves and out-of-stock alerts again. That’s why just-in-time (JIT) inventory strategies are becoming a thing of the past, and smart organizations are bulking up their inventory when it comes to their most crucial products. A quality supply chain management solution can help you put this strategy in place with suppliers by giving you different finance options, so that you can use the ones that make the most sense for your business.
4) Sustainability Initiatives Struggle to Take Hold
Over the past few years, climate change, sustainability, and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices have become business priorities. That being said, it’s still up to individual companies to enforce these standards. With the supply chain being a major contributor to these problems, it’s time for the industry as a whole to adopt unified and standardized practices in order to effect real change.
5) Digital Transformation Will Be Key to Survival
The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation efforts for many organizations—and that timeline is only going to get shorter as they realize it’s a means to stay competitive and in business. The transition to Industry 4.0 will ramp up even more this year with new technology like artificial intelligence and machine learning helping to automate supply chain processes. Additionally, these technologies will help alleviate workforce shortages impacting the supply chain and equip companies with predictive analytics to make real-time decisions and respond faster to disruptions.
The Bottom Line—It’s Time to Start Preparing
Supply chains have come under intense scrutiny over the past few years, a trend that’s only going to continue into 2022 and beyond. In order to thrive (not to mention survive), organizations need to adopt technology and processes that drive resiliency and predictability every day, not just during times of disruption.
While we certainly hope 2022 will be a less eventful year for supply chain professions, it’s better to prepare for the worst and be pleasantly surprised than to blindly trust that everything will work out fine. That’s where our senior-level Infor Lawson consulting team comes in.
Bring In the Supply Chain Management Experts
Our experienced consultants have the expertise and knowledge you need to succeed, whether you’re looking to implement Infor SCM for the first time, or you just need a hand when it comes to optimizing your current setup. Whatever sort of Infor Lawson project you’ve got going on, we have somebody who can help you out.
Contact us today to learn more and get started.