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The Times Supply Chain Strategy Report

Key developments, trends, and growing areas of commerce within logistics and supply chain.

Raconteur is an independent publishing house who produce special interest reports such as the Supply Chain Strategies report from articles in the Times and the Sunday Times. The Supply Chain Strategies report aims to highlight key developments, trends, and growing areas of commerce within the supply chain and logistics field and provides an insight into the future of our industry.

The following is a concise summary of its contents, which we hope you will find interesting and insightful:

 

-    Some trade experts are speculating that US and China relations could lead to a breakdown in the supply chain globally. Economic retaliation between the two economic powerhouses -- such as tariffs -- would mean a stagnation of imports and exports and business processes in general. Supply chain experts recommend preparing and stockpiling key items and products if necessary. Future recommendations are: figuring out ways not to rely on a single supplier for assets and materials.

 

-    Delivery by drone is the hot new topic. But can drones surpass technological pitfalls and regulatory hurdles to become a key part of our supply chain? There is talk of drones becoming the next big thing, but according to Price Waterhouse Cooper, there needs to be considerable investment in infrastructure and planning: “PwC estimates that drone services could be worth more than $127 billion globally, with $13 billion to be made in transport. ‘However, this market requires a lot of investment and supporting infrastructure,’ says Elan Whyte, head of PwC’s UK drones team.” The development to keep in mind is that drones will not necessarily be used to deliver items such as sneakers and books to the suburbs.. They will rather focus on niche items and trades, such as medical supplies, etc., and could be of great use to remote areas that cannot be reached easily other means.

 

-    Continuing on with the theme of drones and automated vehicles, Amazon Prime’s drone service is still under development, though the company has been secretive in terms of exactly where they are looking to make progress. There are numerous regulations imposed by governing bodies all across the world as well as the physical limitations of package size which are making this space difficult to capitalize upon. Nevertheless, many are confident that we will be seeing drones in the air sometime in the future.

 

-    Blockchain technology is impacting supply chain in an unexpected way: by encouraging corporate social responsibility. By digitising all supply chain records via blockchain and thus enabling supply chain transparency, tier by tier, companies are now able to track where there could be possible fraud and illicit activities within their supply chain. An example of this is Marks & Spencer’s initiative to combat modern slavery in terms of workforce exploitation by encouraging transparency in all aspects and steps of the supply chain. The greater the transparency, the more ethical a company can try to be with its business decisions.

 

-    Automation is a big worry for workers but a boon for the supply chain as well. Many roles and jobs are being automated. But besides the mass job-loss that will accompany an automated workforce, many in the business side of things are also wondering what will happen to the tax-revenue that is lost? Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates has even offered a radical solution: tax robots. “Right now, the human worker who does, say, $50,000 worth of work in a factory, that income is taxed and you get income tax, social security tax, all those things. If a robot comes in to do the same thing, you’d think that we’d tax the robot at a similar level. ”Whether this is a feasible option or not remains to be seen but there’s a healthy debate ongoing in this sector about the best ways of approaching, tackling, and profiting from an automated workforce.

 

This report also covers 3-D printing, the potential impacts of Brexit, and the importance of strengthening links in the supply chain. You can get an in-depth view of the supply chain information and strategies which will play a big part in 2018 and the years ahead by reading the full report. Click the image below to download it now.

 

 

Posted on:   02/03/2018