The hierarchy of highest quality supply chains is in the midst of a shakeup. Patrick Burnson writes for Supply Chain Management Review about what is changing today. He points to a report from IDC Manufacturing which notes that unlike the past 15 years, the manufacturing industry is suddenly becoming a good investment again. Advanced economies have realized that service industries are not enough to sustain the nation, and with rising transportation costs, insourcing initiatives in manufacturing is beginning to make practical business sense. IDC survey results show that 43 percent of global manufacturers have a formal process to perceive how factories and plants will be organized in the near term. Furthermore, over the next five years, “47 percent of manufacturers will produce modular platforms centrally while using local small factories, suppliers, and distributors to tailor final products for local demand.” Burnson details five key retail supply chain movers identified by analysts:
- “Omni-channel” distribution strategy
- The Marketplace Fairness Act
- 3D printing
- The convenience of digital devices and advancement of Internet speeds
- Rise in pop-up temporary stores where large brand retailers may showcase a new product
The supply chain is transforming and evolving in ways that would have been difficult to imagine a few decades ago. Changing with the times demands understanding new technologies immediately as they become available and discarding any antiquated notions that do not fit with the current landscape of the market. Stay vigilant.