Enterprise and Know-how Insights from the 2021 State of Provide Chain Execution Report, Half 1

Buyer centricity, e-commerce, Direct-to-Shopper (D2C), and the danger of economic peril are propelling shippers (producers and retailers) and logistics service suppliers (LSPs) to digitally rework. 2020 and the primary half of 2021 noticed an acceleration in lots of rising digital developments pre-dating the pandemic.

In the present day we’re releasing the outcomes from the 2021 State of Provide Chain Execution Report, which gives the newest market insights round:

  • Will e-commerce development introduced on by the COVID-19 pandemic proceed?
  • What are the largest provide chain execution/logistics challenges going through shippers and LSPs?
  • Which applied sciences are getting consideration and investments?

Our survey questions had been targeted on 4 areas: E-commerce, Danger and Resiliency, Know-how and Innovation, and Collaboration and Change Administration. We partnered with Reuters Occasions Provide Chain to interview near 600 provide chain professionals from world wide they usually had been surveyed between Might and June 2021 for this report.


Digital developments dominate trade and firm discussions as all are seeing an awesome interval of e-commerce development that necessitates wholesale adjustments to outlive and drive aggressive benefits within the post-pandemic period. This development has sparked disruptions because of the lack of availability of uncooked supplies, transportation capability, and visibility wanted to supply and transfer important merchandise.

Provide chain execution / logistics operations have risen to the event this 12 months and final 12 months in serving the altering wants of the financial system through the pandemic, absorbing speedy adjustments in priorities and shocks in demand and provide patterns. With the expectation of continued development, how can corporations improve capabilities fairly than simply throw scarce assets at troublesome conditions?

On this report, you’ll get insights into the pondering of logistics executives into the e-commerce development image. Additionally, you will observe that shippers and LSPs are renewing themselves to handle the prevailing developments of customer-first and omni-channel. On this new setting, as manufacturers and producers acquire digital maturity, they’re converging upon D2C fashions to drive loyalty whereas retailers are branching out to push home-grown labels to customers. The rise of D2C is taking form. To reply to this new alternative, how are manufacturers and their LSPs rising to the problem? Along with sharing the findings, we requested a number of trade executives to share their observations and factors of views.

Danger and Resiliency

The siloed nature of operations has more and more prevented companies from accessing the information they should make well timed and smart choice in essential moments. Simply-in-time (JIT) enabled the event of the cost-optimized provide chain, but, the over-emphasis on such effectivity prompted corporations to insufficiently handle danger administration, particularly for logistics community dangers past the 4 partitions. This presents a lot danger on the availability aspect. It’s subsequently very fascinating to look at the highest considerations for shippers and LSPs of their respective roles in our report. For instance, what provide chain danger administration processes are they at the moment investing in?

Provide chain danger and resiliency have gained higher consideration up to now 18 months. As a result of lack of preparation that many corporations had for each the pandemic and the ensuing well being disaster, there have been many disruptions to completely different provide chain execution processes and operations. The survey outcomes reveal a transparent want for companies to construct capabilities enabling a lot better deal with visibility, capability, and transparency to reply to points and dangers. There’s a clear message in regards to the significance of diversification methods and the need to sort out capability shortages and extended lack of sustainability funding.

Raj Patel, Senior Director, 3PL International Business Technique, Blue Yonder, share his trade views: “Once we consider danger administration, cybersecurity is usually entrance and heart of individuals’s concern, typically for good purpose. Nonetheless, danger administration includes a way more expansive appraisal of what you are promoting. For instance, sustainability points can expose you to monetary and authorized danger, simply as single-sourcing can heighten publicity on the availability aspect.”

Know-how and Innovation

To maximise omni-channel alternatives introduced by the rising quantity of e-commerce gross sales, LSPs should provide up distinctive providers that meet the wants of e-commerce and conventional retailers. Funding in trendy applied sciences and new approaches to working are important for companies seeking to regulate to altering developments and buyer expectations.

At minimal, corporations should search to have a extra holistic technical infrastructure in place. Integrating the Warehouse Administration System (WMS), Transportation Administration System (TMS), and Order Administration System (OMS) is important. Whereas the digital logistics panorama continues to be be comparatively younger, corporations can use this fractured area as an inroad.

To search out out extra in regards to the actions that may allow shippers and LSPs to raised serve this new period, we requested the respondents two questions on their funding in trendy applied sciences and new approaches. First, each shippers and LSPs shared that altering buyer calls for and pressures to scale back provide chain prices are the highest elements driving provide chain expertise funding selections. Subsequent, the survey respondents shared which applied sciences are yielding one of the best ROI at the moment and within the subsequent 18 months.  At current, investing in end-to-end visibility was a should for many shippers and LSPs. The report discusses extra insights into the pressures and applied sciences.

Collaboration and Change Administration

The rise of e-commerce has led to a dramatic enchancment in inter-departmental collaboration and communication. To advance into a very digital age, respondents knowledgeable us that the largest

challenges within the velocity of latest expertise adoption. The survey additionally touched on whether or not labor capability shortages proceed to impression operations and what labor methods corporations are using to handle it.

Jim Bralsford, Senior Business Methods Director, EMEA, Blue Yonder, shared his views: “The one factor that’s sure on this world, and significantly in provide chain proper now could be you’ve received to maintain altering to remain present. That’s a scary proposition for a lot of organizations. Legacy techniques are clearly inherently rigid. They’ve been personalized over time, and other people get snug with doing it this manner. The recommendation I’d give isn’t concern to ask, ‘Why do you do it that manner?’ As a result of its’s all the time been that manner? May it’s improved upon? Regardless of the dimensions and complexity of the duty at hand, develop a roadmap and acknowledge this isn’t going to be a ’large bang’ change. Be prepared to pivot and increase that roadmap alongside the way in which.”

Begin Your Digital Transformation

Within the post-COVID-19 world, corporations are discovering it very difficult to deal with the upper quantity of orders that include elevated e-commerce actions and extra frequent adjustments and disruptions. A brand new stage of management, agility and resilience is required in logistics operations. The breakdown of silos amongst companions within the ecosystem and a brand new stage of intelligence introduced on by digital techniques and gadgets will assist corporations shift their logistics operations to be extra aggressive and customer-centric. Autonomous provide chain execution particularly in transportation and warehouse administration must be one thing corporations are striving for now. That is described additional in the Way forward for Logistics eBook.

Buyer expectations across the velocity of click-to-deliver motions will drive important adjustments in provide chain community footprints, the place the stock is held, and the way the achievement and supply occur, whereas preserving the deal with money flows, achievement prices and sustainability. The brand new mind-set is described within the Unified Logistics eBook.

Further Insights

In an upcoming LinkedIn Reside session on Aug. 17, 2021, I’ll communicate with Jim Bralsford and Raj Patel in regards to the acceleration in lots of rising digital developments and the way corporations are enhancing provide chain execution capabilities to handle disruptions, resilience, and prevailing developments in e-commerce. In an upcoming Half 2 weblog, we are going to talk about the survey outcomes and insights in additional element.

For extra details about the 2021 State of Provide Chain Execution Report:

Be taught extra about how Luminate Logistics gives an end-to-end execution platform to assist drive versatile, absolutely autonomous distribution networks.