Future of Supply Chain

Transform your supply chain for competitive advantage and growth.

Future Supply Chain

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Chart the path to the supply chain of the future

What do high-performing supply chain organizations do differently? For starters, the chief supply chain officer (CSCO) is viewed as a strategic business partner. That’s not the case for most organizations. Just 47% of CSCOs are viewed as strategic business partners, despite the focus on supply chain during the pandemic. A resilient and agile supply chain requires strong alignment between the CSCO and their C-suite peers.

Download the Future of Supply Chain guide to benchmark yourself against top-performing organizations. Learn how to:

  1. Drive top-line growth without sacrificing operational excellence
  2. Establish sustainable operations to reduce cost and emissions
  3. Design a real-time decision roadmap and digital technology plan

Reinventing a future-forward supply chain

To transform your supply chain into a strategic driver of value, focus on delivering customer value, securing scarce talent, meeting speed and sustainability expectations, and investing in leading-edge supply chain management practices that build resilience and agility.

Shift the focus from operational excellence to customer experience

Supply chains are losing customers amid disruptions. Mounting backorders, low inventory, increased prices and delayed shipments plague supply chains and threaten customer loss. Supply chain performance plays a key role in whether a customer is likely to repurchase, and services and offerings should be designed around customer enablement. According to Gartner research, enabled customers are 2x as likely to repurchase, but only 23% of supply chains focus on enabling their customers. To scale customer experiences across the global supply chain, focus on three key actions:

  1. Streamline the supply chain service menu. The best supply chains offer their capabilities “as a service”, and differentiate the customer experience order to order across the buying journey.
  2. Gain funding and address high service-delivery costs with cost-to-serve transparency.
  3. Address the challenge that the pace of launching new services is too slow.

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Future-proof the supply chain through climate adaptation

As legislation and stakeholder pressure increases, reinvention to achieve sustainability has gone beyond the nice-to-have and is now critical to future-proof business operations and address global sustainability concerns. Sixty-seven percent of CSCOs are accountable for environmental and social sustainability KPIs. Communication and alignment may improve internal effectiveness and reputation, but supply chain transformation is how you truly realize sustainability and drive change in the end-to-end value chain. Across supply chain sustainability activities — like circular economy, greenhouse gas emission reduction and risk governance — top CSCOs are significantly more likely (19% on average) to have capabilities in place to achieve their goals. To authentically fulfill your commitments, embed ESG in goals, measurement and decision making.

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Move beyond real-time analytics to real-time execution

Ninety-five percent of supply chains must quickly react to change, but only 7% can execute decisions in real time. Without real-time execution, the supply chain will know exactly what to do, but response execution will be delayed. As such, supply chain real-time decision execution adoption will increase 5x by 2028. With the right supply chain technologyanalytics and skills, the future supply chain will automate execution and improve performance across the end-to-end value chain. Real-time supply chain capabilities require a three-step transformation:

  1. Access to real-time data from across the end-to-end supply chain.
  2. The capability to analyze that data on the fly. This enables supply chain organizations to meet enterprise expectations for real-time decision making.
  3. Real-time decision making will trigger an expectation for real-time execution.

To achieve this, CSCOs must overcome the challenges of legacy technology and lack of data, all while utilizing the right technology that enables, not overwhelms. This requires digital transformation to optimize critical operations.

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Embrace an EVP that encourages choice and innovation in work design

Scarce talent is a major challenge. According to our 2022 Global Labor Market Survey, approximately 20% of supply chain employees have demonstrated job seeking behavior over the last year, and the impact is hitting the business — more than half (54%) of all supply chain organizations say that an inability to access talent has interrupted or curtailed business activities in their organizations. CSCOs aren’t sitting idly by: They are investing in the employee experience and employee value proposition (EVP). But procedural and cultural challenges to work flexibility persist. To attract, retain and engage the talent that future supply chain strategy and planning demand, CSCOs must offer an EVP that moves beyond financial motivation to one that provides a flexible, purposeful day-to-day employee experience that creates a feeling for employees of being understood, autonomous, valued, invested and cared for. And, creates pathways for personal development and choice in work. The competitive advantage here comes from attracting and retaining not only the right skills, but having more engaged employees helping your organization succeed.

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Video: CSCO Perspectives on the Future Supply Chain

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Frequently asked questions

The supply chain of the future will connect decisions to automated execution across the value chain. Future supply chains will also give employees choice of work design and dedicate roles to innovating on work design.

By 2030, sustainability will be embedded in supply chain operations end-to-end, and sustainability financing will be used to grow revenue (not just as part of isolated cost-reduction exercises).

Supply chains can’t afford to let disruptions limit impact. CSCOs must shift focus from operational excellence to commercial innovation — building disruption-tough capabilities that drive competitive advantage.

The top issue for CSCOs is achieving agility and resilience through four supply chain organizational priorities: commercial growth; authentic fulfillment of ESG commitments; real-time execution; and flexible work experiences.

The future supply chain will operate three commercial innovation capabilities to support growth: supply chain capabilities “as a service”; a consolidated service menu; and operating model modularity and flexibility.

Drive stronger performance on your mission-critical priorities.