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Top 10 Trends of 2021: Tough Transformation in Supply Chain

Analysing the top 10 trends of 2021 across supply chain, through slightly less rose-tinted glasses. Here’s a more realistic response.

|Nov 30|magazine2 min read

In 2019, we expected 2020 to herald a new era─decade, at least─of transformation for the global supply chain networks. In some ways, that has proven to be the case, but you’d be amiss to claim, as many do, that this year has been packed full of significant development and innovations. Sure, we’ve had a mass migration to virtual norms, and companies all over the world have been forced to adopt new, technological advancements for the sake of supply chain resiliency. As a species, we’ve been wonderfully evasive of impending doom, you could probably say.

In reality, though, for all the feats of this year, we have a drastic problem ─ the majority of it has been forced. It wasn’t a case of transformation for the obvious benefits; it was a transformation for the sake of evasion. 

Perhaps, regardless of the reasoning behind certain moves, organisations will continue to innovate new solutions because they’ve seen the light. That would be great. Or, as I suspect, many will choose to stagnate as they were happily doing before the COVID-19 pandemic knocked at the door. With that in mind, let’s go through the realistic trends of 2021, based on the historical norms of the supply chain.