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The supply chain of the future is connected, transparent and sustainable

The supply chain of the future is connected, transparent and sustainable

Supply chain disruption is challenging businesses everywhere and forcing company leaders to think differently about how they operate. Artificial Intelligence (AI), data-driven analytics, sustainability and digital transformation are not unfamiliar terms by any means—but the urgency behind them, and the advancements fueling their applicability in the supply chain will reach new levels in 2023.

For years, “digital transformation” has been a business buzzword, finding its way into Board discussions and day-to-day supply chain activities. In 2023, defining what this transformation means and sustainability executing will be key to survival. Reflecting on what has happened this year and looking ahead to 2023 will help successful logistics and supply chain operations advance digital strategies exponentially in alignment with the following trends.

Companies will prioritize targeted AI implementation to improve operations

As the world scrambles to recover from the pandemic economy and with the successes of AI boosting their confidence, companies will adopt advanced AI at faster rates than ever in 2023.

Accenture’s AI Maturity research shows that only 12% of firms are using AI to outpace their competitors, for example, in terms of revenue growth. Another Accenture survey among C-suite executives found that 80% of companies plan to increase investments in responsible AI.

Many leaders have dabbled in this technology in recent years, but most have only scratched the surface of its potential. Many proven use cases for supply chain analytics and AI exist, and the number will continue to grow.

For example, companies are using AI for scenario modeling and stress-testing the supply chain with a digital twin to improve resilience. AI, analytics and the Cloud also play a powerful role in helping companies with supplier risk monitoring and resolution.

Organizations will look to gain visibility into waste

Consumers, industry partners and investors are increasing their attention on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investments. Sustainability matters now more than ever, and that fact is influencing shifts in materials management. Technology will fuel companies as they seek ways to reduce waste in redefining “asset management.”

Achieving visibility will be the first vital step toward circularity. Companies need digital tools to collect and store transactional data and advanced analytics capabilities to monitor and adjust operations continuously. This real-time view lets decision makers see how companies allocate resources and where they can reduce, reuse or recycle.

Manufacturers will start building factories of the future closer to customers

Pandemic-related disruption, trade wars, tariffs, rising labor costs, climate crises and the war in Ukraine, along with technological innovation and changing customer expectations, are causing drastic changes to manufacturing.

In the Unites States, companies are making plans for bringing manufacturing closer to where their customers are—to become more resilient to unforeseen disruption, reduce emissions and better serve customers. Almost all supply chain and manufacturing leaders surveyed by Accenture (94%) said that their companies were planning to invest in new production facilities in near- and onshore locations.

These factories of the future will look and operate vastly different from those that were moved offshore decades ago. They will leverage automation, robotics, Artificial Intelligence, digital twins and a reskilled workforce for improved resilience and lower operating cost.

Looking ahead

Streamlining processes and creating digital efficiencies through AI and intelligent data analytics, bringing smarter production closer to home, and gaining absolute visibility into every resource are how businesses will transform in 2023 and build resilient and sustainable supply chains in the future

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