On this final day of 2021, it’s only natural for us to be anxiously counting down to a fresh start in the New Year. However, this is also a time for mindfulness and reflection. Our global community has been facing some incredible challenges during the past 12 months: the Great Supply Chain Disruption; intense labor shortages; an explosion of cybercrime; and catastrophic effects of climate change, including flooding, drought, deadly heat waves, famine and lack of clean drinking water. Yet through it all, supply chains continued to make an impact, facilitating the greatest vaccination effort in human history; pioneering corporate social responsibility; advancing environmental policy; prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion; and achieving resilience through creativity and collaboration.
Yes, many of our supply chain troubles may linger. But we can welcome 2022 confident in the fact that we are armed with essential new discoveries and valuable know-how. Moreover, the steady supply chain news cycle has put our work front and center, leading to greater appreciation for what we do and the many advantages that a strong supply chain provides.
Ready to move forward
Of course, it’s wise to look ahead as well. After a rigorous process of extensive discussion and literature review, the ASCM Research, Innovation and Strategy Committee (RISC) Sensing Subcommittee has compiled its top 10 supply chain trends to watch in 2022. Topping the list are developments in advanced analytics and automation, which will increase visibility, mitigate disruption, enable data-driven decisions, and increase agility and profitability.
However, these benefits cannot be achieved without proper management of supply chain talent, which has moved up three spots to number two on the list. As roles shift, supply chain professionals must be trained and upskilled to keep up with the latest advancements. Furthermore, amid major talent shortages, companies need to evaluate what they are doing to put workers first. The research suggests it will be essential for organizations to get creative about how they attract and retain talent.
Other significant trends include advancements in product tracking and the continued rise of e-commerce, as well as agility, digital supply chain, cybersecurity, customer-centricity, and artificial intelligence and machine learning. In line with these points, success in 2022 will require businesses to effectively leverage new technologies and related capabilities in order to evaluate both performance and risks, then respond strategically.
I invite you to read more about all of the trends on the ASCM blog. In addition, view a panel discussion by the RISC Sensing Subcommittee members — a diverse group of supply chain experts representing industry, academia and consulting — to hear their unique perspectives about what these developments will mean for the supply chain profession in the New Year. Whatever it may bring, I know we will succeed by working together.