Skip to main content

Supply chain leaders must prepare and lead by building agility into systems, processes and decision making. Personalization at scale, leveraging ecosystems and driving business-led digital strategies are this year’s most common trends among heads of supply chain.

Top-performing supply chain leaders not only stay ahead of the latest trends, but they also defy conventional thinking during disruptions, with the most successful taking risks in “the turns,” whether they be economic, geopolitical, environmental, social or competitive.

The challenge:

Supply chains are looking to invest in new technologies to optimize costs, meet increasing customer expectations and enhance their decision-making ability. However, the hype and buzz surrounding many technologies complicate the ability of supply chain leaders to identify solutions relevant to their current and future business needs. Organizations are feeling the pressure to keep up with industry leaders, early adopters and the pace of change in technology, or they risk missing an opportunity for potential competitive advantage. However, pursuing the latest trend without alignment to the supply chain organization’s strategy is a costly and ill-advised proposition.

Pain point:

It is essential to understand where your business is going in the future and to define what capabilities the supply chain must put in place to meet future digital business needs. But few companies have yet begun to implement a roadmap to plot a direction and timeline for reaching a desired future state for their digital supply chain. Among those businesses that do have active plans, the focus is typically on efficiencies for current, not future, needs. Companies that fail to define which capabilities the supply chain requires to meet future digital business needs risk falling behind their competitors in the race to embrace digital business.

Supply chain leaders need a mindset and practices that can accommodate and embrace perpetual change, and a plan for the longer-term horizon. Without these things, their organization will be unable to respond to the disruption that supply chains will feel from new and innovative technologies — and will fail to convert those innovations into value.

The solution:

Organizations are also looking to invest in new technologies to optimize costs, meet increasing customer expectations (i.e., visibility, speed of service, personalization) and enhance their decision-making ability. According to a Gartner report, the key technology trends that chief supply chain officers must be aware of are:

• Artificial intelligence. This remains one of the most talked-about technologies within supply chains, with the primary benefits seen as improving efficiency and reducing costs.

• Advanced analytics. As supply chain organizations strive to become more advanced, they are leveraging end-to-end data insights for intelligent, end-to-end decision making.

• Internet of Things (IoT). As the number of IoT devices continues to increase, IoT is providing functional domains within supply chains with an increasing number of use cases.

Based on our research and discussions with market leaders in Supply Chain Management, we have compiled and shared our thoughts on how Supply Chain and industries will react and respond in the future with the COVID-19 experiences. Download the report here:

Bastian Consulting is a boutique search practise that concentrates on sourcing leaders that deliver change across the Asia Pacific, we have the expertise to source leaders that can transform your business and thrive in times of rapid change. To know more, you can reach out to Tony on +61 (0) 409 090 434 or