Supply Chain

5 Supply chain predictions for 2024

OpenText experts weigh in on new technologies that will transform global supply chains

In the fast-moving landscape of global commerce, the supply chain remains at the heart as businesses strive for efficiency, resilience, and sustainability. As we approach 2024, several trends are set to reshape the supply chain industry, offering new opportunities and challenges.

Here are five supply chain predictions that we believe will shape the narrative in the coming year.

#1 Tomorrow’s supply chains will embrace conversational AI

Companies have been embarking on a journey of digitizing their supply chains for many years. In fact, that journey started in the 1960s as large companies around the world embraced EDI communication and document standards. It is surprising today how many companies have not completely digitized their supply chain operations. As a result, they fail to realize the significant benefits and ROI that digitizing the supply chain can bring. In 2024, more companies will look to obtain greater value and insights from the data being exchanged across their business ecosystem.  

“Talking” to your network will speed business processes

As a technology, ‘Big Data’ has been around since 2010. But in 2024, we will see explosive growth in the use of Generative AI solutions, especially Conversational AI solutions in the supply chain sector. Companies of all sizes will be able to have a ‘conversation with a business network’ connected to their business systems and external trading partner community. In turn this will accelerate supplier onboarding and optimize logistics flows. From improving inventory management to accelerating payments between parties, conversational AI is set to change how users interact with their business networks.  

Mark Morley, Senior Director, Product Marketing Management, OpenText Business Network

#2 Intelligent command centers will provide supply chain leaders with actionable insights  

As global supply chains strive to mitigate the risk and impact of disruptive events, visibility is crucial to making timely and accurate decisions. However, simply having access to relevant information is not enough. Users also need to identify the right information to focus on at any given time based on their role and responsibilities. Supplier risk indicators, performance benchmarks, extreme weather phenomena, labor disputes, and many other pieces of information are all potentially relevant to supply chains operations. But these are only meaningful if you can identify how they will impact your business and what steps can be taken to mitigate these impacts. 

Command centers will replace control towers

To move from simply having information to leveraging it to drive meaningful action, organizations will need enabling technology. In 2024, we are likely to see the traditional supply chain control towers increasingly replaced or complemented by intelligent command centers. These command centers will leverage capabilities that go beyond KPI tracking, allowing users to access more insights and get guidance on where they need to focus. This will require bringing together various technical capabilities from role-based access and diverse data integration to specialized user interfaces and AI-assisted analytics features. As with most complex IT solutions, one size will not fit all, and flexibility and adaptability will be crucial for success. 

Ville Parkkinen, Director, Product Marketing, OpenText Business Network

#3 Companies will leverage business networks to deliver ESG and SCOPE 3 reporting   

Business networks connect global supply chains across many different sectors. They are pervasive and reach into almost any business system and out to any trading partner or information source. Companies using business networks have been able to obtain an indirect benefit for many years, digitizing and automating paper-based processes helps to save paper and of course billions of trees around the world. Developing more sustainable supply chains has been a stated goal for supply chain and procurement leaders around the world.  

ESG mandates will create a stronger reliance on business networks for information exchange

With the introduction of new ESG mandates worldwide, companies are being forced to make significant changes to their supply chain operations. Business networks don’t just allow companies to exchange information digitally. They can also deliver powerful insights to help them optimize up and downstream processes and comply with regional compliance mandates. From adhering to the Dodd Frank Conflict Minerals law in the US to ensuring that all companies in Germany embrace the ‘Act on Due Diligence in Supply Chains’, ethical and sustainable sourcing will become a required business practice moving forwards.

In 2024, we expect more countries to draft similar regulations. These are expected to include the newer SCOPE 3 regulations. Companies will become responsible for monitoring the carbon emissions produced at every tier of their supply chain including the transportation of goods across each tier. Business networks will become central to the exchange of ESG and SCOPE 3 information.  We will likely see new EDI transactions emerge or existing transactions updated to include information about ESG and SCOPE 3 reporting. 

Mark Morley, Senior Director, Product Marketing Management, OpenText Business Network

#4 Companies will look to managed services partners to help them with integration challenges  

With the global business landscape undergoing major changes, companies must adapt quickly to remain competitive. Technology plays a key role in this. Interestingly, despite the economic headwinds faced by most companies, the level of investment in digital technologies remains high. Modernization and new technology adoption create many opportunities. However, they also increase complexity and create a need for more integration between different systems and applications—both internally and across the extended business ecosystem. 

Rebalancing resources will help meet the growing demands of B2B collaboration

As we move into 2024 and beyond, companies must adjust IT resources to match changes in requirements. This includes rebalancing their B2B integration resources to meet the demand for increased connectivity and process automation with external business partners. Yet, due to the diverse nature of B2B connectivity, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to hire and retain staff with the right skills and expertise to manage complex integration projects. As many seasoned professionals with experience in the core technologies still actively used today retire from the workforce, companies need to identify a continuity plan for B2B integration. This will drive many organizations to partner more closely with managed service providers. These providers can offer the range of skills needed on an on-demand basis to ensure continuity, availability and optimal utilization of resources. 

Ville Parkkinen, Director, Product Marketing, OpenText Business Network

#5 Digital product passports will deliver compliance while revolutionizing customer experience and product design 

Digitizing a product is not a novel concept.  The digital twin, for example, has gained traction in product design, testing and usage. But adding in identity-centric models, such as a digital passport will deliver new use cases and also new challenges. 2024 will see a renewed interest in digital twins leveraging the digital passport to drive sustainability projects, especially those mandated by government regulations. The Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR) in the European Union is a good example of these regulations. The ESPR propsal

Information protection will be crucial to digital passport management

One of the key challenges with digital product passports is governing who gets access to data, such as location or personal information on the product user. This could be especially problematic in highly regulated industries, such as healthcare where patient data must be protected but still utilized by authorized groups. To realize true value, the digital passport needs a strong governance and authentication system. If implemented with a strong security posture it can be a key part of a product’s digital transformation that delivers insight into the initial use and throughout the product’s lifecycle.

With digital passports manufacturers of any size will have access to valuable data they can use to improve product design as well as enhance the customer experience.  Learn more about how OpenText is helping companies digitize their supply chains and delivering the technologies that will revolutionize supply chains in 2024 and beyond.

Bob Slevin, Director, Product Marketing, OpenText Business Network

Learn how OpenText is helping companies digitize their supply chains and delivering the technologies that will revolutionize supply chains in 2024 and beyond.

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