Predictions for Digital Supply Chains! – Supply Chain Game Changer™

Digital transformation is a top priority for most manufacturers and retailers today, as the adoption of digital technologies aims to improve efficiency and effectiveness in the short-term while offering the opportunity to build a leaner operational protocol in the future.

The focus is clearly on the efficiency of the operation of technological applications. The big question is; Are you ready? If not, maybe we can help.

Here are some interesting predictions from the renowned international research firm IDC, highlighting key areas of technology applications in light of the upcoming digital revolution of the international supply chain.

Predictions for digital supply chains

  • Prediction 1: By the end of 2021, half of all manufacturing supply chains will have invested in supply chain resilience and artificial intelligence, resulting in 15% productivity gains;
  • prognosis 2: By 2022, companies will spend 35% of their logistics business process outsourcing services budget on process automation, with a focus on order, inventory and shipment tracking;
  • Prediction 3: By the end of 2020, half of all major manufacturers will have automated supplier and spend data analysis, resulting in a 15% increase in procurement productivity;
  • Prediction 4: By 2023, micro-application extensions in the supply chain will account for one-third of all investments in new technologies in manufacturing and retail;
  • Prediction 5: By 2023, 65% of warehouse activities will use robots and situational data analysis to enable warehouse optimization, increase capacity by over 20% and cut work order processing time in half;
  • Prediction 6: To unburden the service supply chain, 25% of OEMs will use blockchain to source spare parts by 2023, improving the accuracy of usable parts by 60% and reducing acceleration costs by 45%;
  • Prediction 7: By 2023, 60% of G2000 manufacturers will invest in AI-powered robotic process automation to automate tasks through increased productivity and closing supply chain gaps.
  • Prediction 8: By 2024, 75% of all consumer-facing companies will have developed the ability to scale at scale within their supply chains, resulting in an average 2-3 percentage point increase in market share;
  • Prediction 9: By 2022, the number of companies offering flexible warehousing options will have increased by 50%, which can help meet seasonal demand challenges and reduce fixed costs by over 20%; and
  • Prediction 10: By 2024, 40% of customs authorities will join private blockchain and API-backed trading platform ecosystems for transparency and efficiency to achieve a 50% increase in cross-border compliance.

This is a lot to digest in this short article, but it should be given serious consideration by those who intend to be operationally competitive in the future logistics market. As we look at the supply chain in the future, it’s about how we intend to use technology to fuel our efforts to better solve business problems, create more supply chain resiliency, and capitalize on new opportunities.

Whether it’s artificial intelligence that makes it possible to make faster decisions, or the Internet of Things that gives us different types of data that we didn’t have before, or possibly things like the blockchain that gives us a more reliable dataset, we need to get a handle on several aspects, not just the technology itself, but also the specific applications. Namely;

Artificial intelligence

Understand what it is. The abbreviated Wikipedia definition is “any device that senses its surroundings and takes actions that maximize its chance of successfully achieving its goals.” Put simply, AI is a machine’s ability to learn from the same repetitive task.

internet of things

We have blogged about this topic in several articles because we see it as an important technology for the supply chain management of the future. Again, the Wikipedia definition is “a system of interconnected computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals, or humans, equipped with unique identifiers and the ability to transmit data over a network without the need for a human-to-human communication – or human-to-connection is required -computer interaction.

Simply put, IOT is a network of machines programmed to communicate with each other and conduct operational transactions.


Blockchain is something we strongly support because of its ability to provide a rock-solid audit trail for commercial transactions. According to Wikipedia, blockchain technology is a system of interconnected computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals, or humans equipped with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without the need for human-to-human communication. or human-to-connection is required -computer interaction.

You’ll notice a familiar theme in these Wikipedia definitions as they intentionally eliminate human interaction in every transaction. This is not an accident. Blockchain is the accounting leg of the supply chain revolution to improve accountability in domestic and international trade. AI and IOT target operational efficiency. Blockchain addresses the numbers.

The digital revolution is something we all need to be prepared for. The trick is to understand the technology and how much of it you need for your particular operation.

Companies are panicking about carpet bombing to stay on top when a slow, methodical approach might be effective.

Keep these digital supply chain predictions in mind as you develop your own strategies for the future.

Article on digital supply chain predictions and permission for publication here provided by Michael Gaughan at Originally published on Supply Chain Game Changer on October 8th, 2020.

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