The Delta variant, climate change, and labor shortages continue to disrupt global supply chains as the 2021 holiday shopping season approaches. Experts warn that most consumers can expect empty shelves and very high prices the longer they wait to purchase holiday gifts, décor, and other items. Meanwhile, logistics companies will have to contend with skyrocketing demand for delivered goods, as consumer spending is expected to outstrip last year’s season. To stay competitive during the final months of 2021, companies should invest wisely in supply chain tech and technology-based initiatives.
These investments can include:
- An integrated control tower;
- Efficient supply chain management platforms;
- Close collaboration with Information Technology (IT) leaders and executives.
Integrated Control Tower
Supply chains are complex, involving a multitude of workers, distribution centers, production centers, and transport vehicle fleets. To achieve full efficiency, logistics companies need complete and real-time insight into their inventories, production, network performance, and customer service, as well as a holistic way of viewing these various data streams.
A supply chain tech investment in a company “control tower” can ensure executives and managers have access to the many data flows across a logistics company’s operations. This tower can be a single control room with screens and workstations, or as simple as a tablet that displays information from suppliers, distributors, and customers. The key to this innovation is ensuring that decision makers have an accessible hub that integrates all of an organization’s supply chain data.
Efficient Supply Chain Management Platforms
With the holiday crunch poised to exacerbate existing supply chain crises, logistic companies need management platforms that enhance their efficiency and agility. Businesses need to be able to respond quickly to sudden surges in consumer demand, unexpected shutdowns of ports and distribution centers, and cyber security threats.
There is a new generation of supply chain management software that provides this needed flexibility. Experts note that companies seeking to upgrade their supply chain tech should choose platforms that provide most, if not all, of these capabilities:
- Data collection at every supply chain checkpoint;
- Analytics that drive automation and efficiency insights;
- Reduced transportation costs;
- Greater personalization of customer service;
- Localized production of goods with the help of technology such as 3D printing.
Close Collaboration with IT Leaders and Executives
IT executives within companies are sometimes siloed and isolated, with little knowledge of whether the technologies or measures they’ve implemented are useful to their organizations. For logistics companies grappling with unprecedented supply chain disruptions, it’s critical that internal IT leaders be part of long-term and short-term strategic planning. Without their expertise and involvement, transformative supply chain tech innovations can’t be properly implemented.
IT executives should ensure companies choose strategic partners wisely. A good plastic pallet pooling company, for example, can help logistics companies with digitization and automation efforts. iGPS plastic pallets incorporate smart features that make them traceable throughout a supply chain. These features ensure better planning, efficiency, and performance, and help lower a company’s Total Cost of Business (TCOB). This makes iGPS plastic pallets ideal for all automated systems.
The 2021 holiday shopping season will present more challenges to logistics companies already grappling with several supply chain crises. By investing wisely in supply chain tech and technology-based initiatives, businesses can stay competitive throughout the final months of the year.
Companies committed to supply chain tech innovations use iGPS plastic pallets for all their shipping needs. Our lightweight, recyclable plastic pallets utilize smart features that can help lower your Total Cost of Business. For more information, contact us at 1-866-557-0047, email a specialist at [email protected], or visit our contact page.