“Transparent supply chain is decisive for the company’s success”

Sustainability and digitisation set trends: BVL-survey illuminates the key factors influencing logistics

“Transparent supply chain is decisive for the company’s success”

Presenting their survey on trends and strategies of logistics and supply chain management at the 33rd Logistics Dialogue of BVL Austria on April 6, the logistics association also presents a comprehensive analysis of the current situation and future scenarios in the logistics sector. The key finding is: digital transformation requires continuous and actively designed corporate change.

Even in the age of digitisation cost pressure, individualisation and complexity remain the exogenous top trends that are expected from companies, forcing them to take strategic actions. Digitisation of business processes and improved transparency of the supply chain are the main endogenous trends that need to be developed by the company.

The main driver for all players – and this is a relatively new trend – is the end customer, whose wishes are not only recognised in commerce but also in the industry and service sector, influencing the competitiveness. The answer to many of the customer’s demands in turn is digitisation.

“The latest date to get on digitisation, is now,” said Professor Wolfgang Kersten from the Technical University of Hamburg, who led the study project. Hence it is necessary to keep innovative technology concepts, changes in the value chain and changing required skills in mind, and to develop new, customised business models. The study goes into detail on all four fields of action and links them with 15 trends that influence the strategy and practice of logistics business.

For the company as a whole, this means that digital transformation is an integral part of the strategy. The prerequisite is that transparency is ensured along the entire value chain, which is a scenario that still must be created in many companies. The desired data are sometimes not yet present, interfaces are not defined or the data quality is poor.

Nearly four-fifths of the polled think a transparent supply chain was relevant or very relevant to the company’s success. Today transport or goods incoming data is already shared systematically and comprehensively. However, the situation is different when it comes to inventory data, demand forecasts or data on disturbances of the material flow. Thus, the data transfer fails not only due to privacy considerations.

The 15 trends at a glance:

Exogenous trends:

-) Cost pressures
-) Individualisation
-) Complexity
-) Fluctuations in demand
-) Staff shortages
-) Sustainability
-) Government regulation / compliance
-) Risks / interruptions
-) Change in consumer behaviour

Endogenous trends:

-) Digitisation of business processes
-) Transparency in the value chain
-) Networking / cooperation
-) Business Analytics
-) Automation
-) Decentralisation