The majority of 2020 was a struggle for many in the shipping and transportation industry. It was a year of change, adaptation, versatility, and discovery. No place showed this more clearly than with supply chain integration. Many of the trends and processes that became the norm during the COVID pandemic will continue to be embraced and built upon in 2021 and beyond. And shippers need to realize the six top reasons why 2021 will be the year of supply chain integration and collaboration.
1. Companies Are Ripe for Supply Chain Integration and Collaboration
The past year showed the industry that technology and automation remain essential for businesses of all types. The increased demands of e-commerce and virtual shopping will only grow. Mobile and contactless delivery will remain in high demand for years to come. Carriers, shippers, managers, and customers alike will demand a better experience. And it’s easier to manage returns and monitor shipments when supply chain integration is embraced rather than resisted.
2. Innovative Strategies Follow Integration and Collaboration Among Freight Management Parties
The supply chain will need upgrades to embrace integration and collaboration better. A traditional set up for a supply chain network has a narrow focus and range that no longer remains effective or viable. Supply chain integration and innovative management will remain essential in the years to come. For instance, more companies will leverage robotics process automation (RPA) and other capabilities to build on collaboration and leverage the newest technologies.
3. Collaboration Empowers Shippers and Carriers With Data and Informed Decision Making
Modern supply chains have specifically designed aspects that must stay efficient while remaining multi-faceted. The focus on contemporary advances in technology, automation, communication, and analytics is key to success. Furthermore, automated systems and updates allow for informed decisions when problems arise. Monitoring the transactions and the supply chain movement can be made easier with supply chain integration. It’s that simple.
4. Integration Allows Managers to Do More With Less
5. Carriers Maintain Control Over Pricing; Meaning Integration Is Core to Reducing Total Landed Costs
Many factors come into play when looking at the various benefits possible with supply chain integration. A critical one for freight carriers and logistics managers remains the control they can maintain over pricing. The ability to influence costs and shipping services make a difference in customer interaction and retention. This is especially true in light of e-commerce logistics and shipping requirements.
6. The New Normal Means Future Disruptions and Lockdowns Are Possible
Supply chains must work to find a way to establish and sustain a competitive advantage within their markets. Supply chain integration is the foundation of this future. It has saved many supply chains during the tumultuous year that 2020 presented. This also can help ensure the survival and growth of shippers in 2021 and beyond as future disruptions remain likely. In turn, more brands will turn to integrated platforms and connected resources to stay future-ready.