Here are the ten leading supply chain trends that organizations are embracing this year to reduce costs, increase productivity, and improve profitability. If you're a decision-maker at your company, you may want to consider the following: 

1. Moving to the Cloud

The cloud introduces new functionality that is easier to use and requires less involvement from IT. It’s accessible from anywhere on any device, secure, flexible, and quickly connects to the rest of your business solutions. Reduce costs and increase productivity to become even more profitable. The supply chain has been comparatively slow to adapt to the cloud, so jumping aboard now will give you a major competitive advantage.

2. Aligning IT With Organizational Goals

New technology solutions will have an impact beyond just the IT department. Complete supply chain visibility frees data to go beyond the warehouse, up into the boardroom. Your technology solutions will become an essential part of your annual reports, allowing you to implement more effective cost reducers around the warehouse and to more accurately forecast the next year. Each facet of the supply chain will become a part of the enterprise initiative and strategic decision making to foster a company’s growth.

3. Moving to SaaS Pricing

Software as a Service (SaaS) pricing models are taking over the business world, and for good reason. The subscription rates and lowered upfront costs mean decreased risk for the customer and greater flexibility, since you’re only paying for what you use. The model also ensures that your software provider will do everything they can to keep the system secure and constantly add new innovations to your supply chain management. Regular updates mean that your system is always improving to remain flexible to your needs.

4. Taking Advantage of Out-of-the-box Functionality

Leading organizations are putting their technology to use quickly and discovering blazing-fast ROI. With out-of-the-box functionality, workflow rules can be implemented system-wide in an instant, replacing costly and time consuming custom development of on-premise solutions. New solutions adapt to your business on the fly, instead of your business needing to adapt to its limitations.

5. Connecting a Business with Integration

Cutting edge integration tools allow all of your business systems to connect with one another cheaper and faster than ever before. Your supply chain software can quickly link up with QuickBooks, SAP, Oracle, CRMs, and any other system you utilize. You gain instant value from all of our data to have a faster time to market, lower operational costs, and increase productivity.

6. Using Mobile Devices to Manage the Supply Chain

Smartphones have revolutionized the supply chain. They reduce training time and using an iPhone or iPad in picking increases productivity. Smartphones help improve profitability by lowering costs by more than 90% over using proprietary industrial equipment like RF guns.

7. Becoming More Accountable and Transparent

Supply chains are becoming subject to stricter regulations. Tracking all of your product components into lots will keep track of expiration dates, product differentiations, and recall information on the fly. Lot control can help your company meet all recall deadlines, and minimize financial and reputational losses. More real-time data means instant accountability to your clients and regulators.

8. Supporting Multiple Languages in the Warehouse

A warehouse floor can be one of the most diverse places in the country, with a number of different languages spoken. Maximize the potential for greatness within every one of your employees by supporting each language. Supply chain solutions that can be automatically set in different languages on a per-user basis at each login will break down barriers and increase productivity for all your operations.

9. Gaining Actionable Insight from Real-time Analytics

Real-time and actionable analytics are the blueprint for how business leaders can reduce costs in their supply chain. You can use real-time analytics to optimize floor space, manage labor better, bill more accurately, and plan better. Make the correct decisions to not only improve your operations and customer service but to have a measurable impact on your bottom line.

10. Implementing Scalable Supply Chain Solutions

Organizations are keeping an eye on the future when implementing supply chain solutions. Your technology should not dictate business decisions, it should support and adapt to the changes necessary to run a business. For too long organizations have had to switch or dramatically update systems whenever they experience any growth. But now with the power to scale up (or down) to meet your business needs, new solutions ensure that your supply chain will no longer hold you back or be a liability while your business expands.

Connect all the disparate departments of your business to reduce supply chain costs, increase productivity, and increase overall profitability.