5 Obstacles to Consider when Modernizing Your Supply Chain Next Year
Dec 22, 2022
Business decision-makers face many challenges when adapting to supply chain demands and consumer expectations. Last year, distributors and retailers faced many challenges like managing out-of-stocks, labor shortages, and inflation rates. Unfortunately, some of these issues plan to continue in 2023 or are causing some different challenges for the new year:
- Stock outs could lead to more overstocking - This year, more businesses faced stock outs and had to adapt to consumer demands, but this caused more warehouses and stores to order more stock. When demands cooled down, distributors were getting left with surplus stock and an inability to manage it. This trend is expected to continue into 2023. Innovative tracking solutions like RFID technology and robotics can help businesses manage stock levels now and in the future. RFID technology can help predict future stock levels with actionable insights from real-time data.
- Taking a digital initiative to adapt to the global supply chain - A constant technology evolution calls for companies to implement RFID and IoT to keep up with the global supply chain and customer expectations. Studies indicate over 90% of organizations have some form of digital initiative. This trend continues from 2022 into 2024 as more businesses implement technology to grow with the global supply chain. Businesses should analyze their space to determine which technology is best fit for their needs.
- Labor shortages that could continue to plague companies - Labor shortages were one of the major concerns for supply chains last year and should continue to plague efficiency in 2023. Studies show that about 900,000 jobs could be lost in the first half of 2023. Consistent labor shortages and lost workers can also make it harder to retain workers. Labor retention results in higher operational costs since warehouses have to keep training new employees. When your warehouse or distribution center needs to enhance labor productivity and control costs, consider technology solutions that automate mundane tasks. Warehouse automation can help workers focus on non-repetitive tasks for a more accurate and empowered workforce.
- Inflation and supply chain security - Ongoing inflation and stagnant economic growth continue to plague industries even after the pandemic. Surveys indicate inflation hit a fresh 40-year record this year with consumer prices currently increasing at 7.7% rate over the last 12 months. Solutions that can reduce errors and control expenses that come from high labor and shipping costs help businesses manage inflation and secure efficiency.
- Sustainability - More consumers want supply chain sustainability because they list environmental safety as a concern. Surveys suggest that 75% of U.S. consumers are concerned about the environmental impact of the products they buy. Sustainable warehousing is possible with robotics solutions that work to minimize waste with efficient and proper disposal. Minimized waste in your warehouse, store, or other industry leads to smoother workflows that associates don’t have to work around.
Digital transformation, overstocking, and shortages are just a few trends supply chains are planning to see in 2023. Luckily, innovative solutions like RFID technology, flexible WiFi, and robotics can help warehouses adapt. Get an in-depth evaluation of your systems to start implementing technologies that address these top concerns.