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Supply Chain Management Predictions

With a robust corporate America business growth predicted for the next 12 months, happy days are here again. Economists attribute this growth most likely to a combination of a growing economy, low unemployment rates and the GOP tax law. For supply chain management, that means shippers, carriers and 3PLs could expect to move more goods and enjoy a stronger cash flow. With a rosy financial future, if you're thinking of growing your supply chain business, now might be the right time.

Business enjoyed a prosperous month this past January. And things are continuing to look great. In February, according to IHS Markit, the manufacturers PMI (Purchasing Managers' Index) hit a 40-month high of 55.9.This strong signal for supply chains suggests that 2018 will continue to be an accelerated growth period.

Supply Chain Predictions for 2018

We are moving out of the era of functional integration of transactional workflows. Here are some up and coming tech and processes that are going to effect how you operate your supply chain in the future:

Retail Value-Chain Collaboration Plummets. As Amazon gains market share, small retail players start selling point-of-sale data to drive revenue. The net result? There will be a decline in data sharing and collaboration. Fines and penalties will increase. The dream of building value networks experiences a setback.

E-commerce Shifts to Solution-Based Business Models. One of the impacts of WalMart buying Jet.com, Petsmart buying Chewy.com, and Albertson’s focus on packaged meals (Plated), is signaling the trend. Manufacturers and retailers are bundling goods and services to drive solutions. The focus will be on outcomes. The differences between retailers and manufacturers will continue to blur.

Digital Frenzy. The market enters a period of digital frenzy, of hype and emotional exuberance. CIOs become digital transformation officers, and digital practices within consulting firms spring up like mushrooms. With more energy than definition, the market will be overhyped.

Blockchain Starts to Redefine B2B. Blockchain as a technology begins to redefine B2B and becomes the system of record for the extended value network. Cryptocurrency is adopted for bifurcated trade (price and promotion) and transportation in emerging markets. Supply chain finance is redefined.

Source: Lora Cecere, Big data supply chains, Digital Innovation, Supply chain excellence.

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