As we embark on a new year, the supply chain continues to be a major focus for businesses across all verticals. Logistics, transportation, and supplychain professionals routinely navigate industry trends, challenges and opportunities. While many predict more of the same throughout this new year, additional issues are also rising to the forefront. So, new supplychain priorities for 2024 but have things really changed?

The Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM) recently put together a member survey revealing what supplychain professionals believe are the top priorities in supplychain for 2024. Here are some highlights out of these results.

1. Digital supplychains

This year, the concept of big data and analytics was dethroned as #1, replaced by a new top trend as defined by ASCM members: the digital supplychain.

As antiquated paper processes go the way of the dinosaur, it brings along with it improvements in streamlining, resilience, and agility. Supply chain leaders who leverage digital tools will find themselves better prepared and more able to handle dynamically changing orders.

According the ASCM, “In the coming year, more supplychain organizations will transform their networks into connected, intelligent, scalable, customizable and nimble digital ecosystems. Some will achieve holistic digital transformation, while others will advance more slowly by balancing long-term investment in automation with the immediate implementation of solutions that reduce repetitive tasks and cognitive fatigue while allowing employees to focus on areas where humans perform better than machines.”

2. Supplychain investments

A newcomer to the ASCM list this year — and the fastest climbing — is supplychain investments in both systems and people. This emphasizes just how much corporate leaders now see the value in prioritizing their supplychains and the benefits of adding talent and tech tools to ensure success.

As the adoption of supplychain tech escalates, it will continue bringing about key insights from enhanced automation, internet-of-things data, blockchain, supplychain-as-a-service, cloud-based solutions and more. These technologies are optimizing networks, supporting sustainability, improving partner collaboration, enhancing visibility, and helping organizations become more flexible and agile. In 2024, essential investments in people through training and development on the latest tech will create a culture of innovation and encourage employees to share ideas that lead to real supplychain success.

3. Relocation

According to new research by Accenture, “the most resilient companies captured 3.6% more growth than their less resilient rivals, giving them a clear performance advantage.” This leads us to our next trend, which is relocation. Reshoring continues to hit record levels, and Accenture adds that many companies are turning local for their supply chain needs. Specifically revealing that, by 2026, 85% of companies plan to manufacture and sell their products in the same region.

In this way, companies ensure they are addressing the vulnerabilities that arose from their highly globalized supplychains in recent years. This deglobalization may result in improved security and resilience; however, it’s also likely to raise prices, limit choice and reduce innovation due to smaller market sizes.

So what’s next?

So with these supplychain priorities for 2024, has anything really changed? One things is absolutely clear: the ground continues to shift beneath the feet of supply chain professionals. In an era of constant disruption, rapid digitization and growing consumer demands, the old ways of managing networks are nowhere near enough. Ultimately, an emphasis on addressing turbulent supplychains has led them to place money, people, and aggressive strategy at the forefront of their efforts in the hopes that stability will lead to better business and more opportunities.

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This post is based on a publication by and