Challenges in the Supply Chain
The supply chain is a critical part of any business. Mastering the supply chain has always been a challenge for any business that deals with the shipping, transportation, and delivery of goods to customers. In 2022, massive cultural, political, and economic shifts have raised the stakes even higher.
Here are just a few problems facing the supply chain today:
- Pandemic Disruptions – while pandemic challenges are winding down, the leftover consequences of lockdowns and shortages are still a legitimate concern in the supply chain.
- Rise of e-commerce – thanks to the pandemic and shifts in consumer behavior, e-commerce is at an all-time high. Customers have high expectations when it comes to timely deliveries and prompt service.
- Political instability – the recent war in Ukraine has caused massive challenges in Europe as well as abroad.
- Labor shortages – according to the U.S. Labor Department, there are 5.5 million more job openings than there are people to fill them.
- Inflation – rapid increases in fuel prices, raw goods, etc mean that cutting costs whenever possible is crucial to staying in business.
As a response to such changes, we expect to see the following supply chain innovations emerge in 2022:
1. Increase in Collaborative Technology
The skill pool is getting smaller even as warehouses grow and fulfillment volumes rise. To retain and engage employees across often global locations, it is necessary to provide easier ways to collaborate. With less people potentially doing more work, driving efficiency at every stage has become more crucial.
Rather than losing time to travel and commute, we are seeing an increase in immersive, collaborative technology. With immersive technology, supervisors or stakeholders can visit multiple warehouse locations in one day, versus having to hop on a plane and physically travel to a single location.
The increased ease of immersive remote collaboration will help leaders in the supply chain save time and money, two resources that are becoming more important in today’s environment.
2. Cybersecurity Investments
Cybercrime has skyrocketed 300% since the start of the pandemic, which has companies and governments paying increasingly more attention to cybersecurity. Data breaches are often the result of preventable human error and can result in devastating financial and reputational losses.
Cyberattacks continue to pose a serious threat to global supply chains, and cybersecurity is essential to defending against them. With increased remote work, an abundance of data and data-driven businesses is expanding even more areas of vulnerability. Due to their interconnection, supply chain partners run the risk of unintentionally exposing their clients to identity theft, privacy violations, and more. In 2022, more businesses will decide to spend money on employee training, firewalls, advanced anti-hacking technology, and more.
3. Augmenting Human Presence
While automation will promote adaptable and flexible supply chains, decision-makers still believe some element of human interaction is necessary for warehousing to function at its best. Therefore, in 2022, augmenting human potential in several areas will be a major trend rather than replacing humans. Workers can concentrate on tasks that generate value by automating more streamlined tasks. Finally, AI applications can aide more rapid decision-making, causing an increase in efficiency and agility across the supply chain.
4. Virtual Tours
Supply chain leaders are leveraging Virtual Tours in 2022 to improve sales and relations with their own customers or stakeholders. A Virtual Tour is an immersive experience that replicates a real environment in real time, made possible by 360-degree technology. People can join 360-degree virtual tours from any location in the world, either in real time or for a virtual tour that has already been filmed. Participants can join using a Virtual Reality (VR) headset or a contemporary web browser and interact with a “location” as if they were actually there. Users are not merely “viewing” a tour like they would a TV program thanks to cutting-edge 360-degree technology. Instead, they can roam the area, discover it, and engage with it. Virtual tours, which enable people to explore a location from the convenience of their home or workplace, may be a very helpful tool for businesses and organizations.
As supply chain innovations, Virtual Tours provide prospects, customers, or stakeholders with a closer look at a warehouse or facility without them having to leave their homes. Using live 360-degree video streaming, you can give viewers an immersive experience that will make them feel like they’re right there with you.
Logistics leaders like DB Schenker are leveraging virtual tours with 360-degree technology to bring supply chain customers on site from wherever they are in the world.
For more information on Virtual Tours, click here.
Investing in ways to de-risk and optimize efficiency will be important for supply chain innovations in 2022, as well as in the years to come. In the immediate future, retaining talent amidst labor shortages, providing new ways to collaborate with customers and stakeholders, and finding balance between humans and augmenting technologies.
Avatour is helping businesses redefine their operations by reducing distance as a barrier to collaboration. Our 360-degree remote collaboration platform allows users to join virtual tours, trainings, and inspections via web browser or VR device.
Using off-the-shelf 360-degree hardware, collaborators, employees, stakeholders and more can meet face-to-face wherever they are in the world, all while gaining a complete understanding of a given physical environment.
To learn more about what our platform can offer your business, click here to book a demo.