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Everyone Struggles With Supply Chain Management — Some More Than Others

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Optimizing the supply chain is a challenge for any industry — for some, more than others. Analysts say that corporate investment in cloud-based supply chain management tools will witness massive growth over the next few years, and businesses could potentially save billions by more efficient supply chain management. PYMNTS breaks down the latest research on where the challenges and opportunities exist in the world of supply chain management.

 

$37.25 billion could be injected into the U.K. economy through better supply chain management, said the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). The CBI released a new report that calls for greater focus on streamlining operations, which includes making supply chains more efficient. The CBI also calls on manufacturers to audit their use of technology systems to ensure that these infrastructures are helping to achieve greater supply chain transparency and efficiency. This audit, the report noted, should also include an assessment of whether manufacturers’ supply chain tools can handle high-risk scenarios, international compliance and other challenges that may lead to heightened costs of supply chain management.

70% of supply chain professionals target better decision-making on in-transit issues — for instance, communicating with carriers — in an effort to improve the customer experience. New research from Convey and eft Supply Chain & Logistics Business Intelligence concluded that the customer experience is becoming of far greater importance than it was in the past for supply chain professionals. These professionals are seeing their priorities shift; in addition to more agile decision-making with regards to in-transit and delivery issues, these leaders are also prioritizing access to data for in-transit shipments to their customers, as well as “bidirectional communication” with customers with regards to the status of deliveries. Overall, the report found, supply chains are getting hit with a digital disruption that makes it easier for all members of the supply chain to communicate with one another for the purpose of a better consumer experience in last-mile delivery.

20% of a health care provider’s workweek is spent on supply chain and inventory management, revealed the latest analysis from Cardinal Health, whose survey uncovered the supply chain management challenges of the health care industry. Better supply chain management leads to better patient care, the report concluded, with issues like expired products or a lack of proper equipment revealed as common consequences of inadequate supply chain management. A quarter of survey respondents say they aren’t sure whether their health care facilities have ever deployed an updated inventory management system, and 78 percent said inventory is counted manually in at least some parts of the supply chain.

With a 19.8% CAGR, the cloud supply chain market will see a valuation of more than $8 billion by 2021, according to a new report from MarketsandMarkets. Researchers have released a new report, “Cloud Supply Chain Management Market,” that finds spiking demand for cloud-based supply chain management solutions, which include procurement and souring, inventory and warehouse management, transportation management and sales and operation planning, among other areas. According to analysts, rising demand for the technology can be attributed to heightened awareness of cloud-based solutions and their ability to provide greater transparency of the supply chain overall. North America, the report added, will contribute the most to the rising demand in cloud-based supply chain management tools.

4 apps released by Oracle last week aim to automate the supply chain. The new solutions are designed around production, fleet and asset monitoring, as well as connecting employees to the Internet of Things, and all aim to enable more agile responses to issues within the workforce and factory equipment. The tools, Oracle said, also aim to help manufacturers more efficiently deploy cloud and IoT solutions to improve supply chain management after finding that many players in this industry struggle to be sure how much investment is necessary and how that investment would pay off over time.

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