The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for supply chains all over the world. Supply chains have faced many disruptions throughout the pandemic, finding it difficult to acclimate to new challenges. From 2020 to the end of 2021, COVID-19 has presented new obstacles for manufacturers everywhere. As we enter 2022, there are predictions as to what supply chain trends will be and how they will affect your business.
Disruptions from the Pandemic
During COVID-19, many businesses were forced to close their doors due to the lockdown. The logistics and warehousing industries experienced significant delays as a result of the shutdowns. Businesses began to pick up again once COVID-19 appeared to be under control, although many companies were left short-staffed. Many companies are still experiencing labor shortages, and they are learning how to adapt to the situation.
Running Out of Stock
Companies have struggled to reach their KPIs due to a labor constraint; fewer employees means fewer hands to produce goods. Shipping restrictions have also caused a scarcity of resources for companies. During the peak of the pandemic, international shipment was halted, resulting in inventory shortages and orders that could not be fulfilled.
In addition to labor shortages, shipping delays is also an effect of this.When employees from other industries are not required to transport items from one location to another, shipment might be delayed, resulting in items not arriving at their destination for weeks.
Predictions for 2022
Peaked Consumer Demand
In 2022, consumer demand is expected to reach a peak. Many customers turned to e-commerce during the 2020 lockdowns, purchasing home-related products among other things. Consumers are expected to shift their focus to in-person services and experiences rather than spending time online once COVID-19 is under control. However, with labor shortages expected to persist in 2022, it will be difficult for businesses to keep up with demand, causing consumer prices to increase.
It was challenging to keep items stocked on retail shelves, while inventory was still sitting on warehouse shelves. Manufacturers were unable to complete projects due to product shipping restrictions. For example, the automotive industry was hit by a microchip shortage, which forced the industry to freeze vehicle production, leaving thousands of unused parts on store shelves.
Increased Spending on Supply Chain Technology
The pandemic has significantly impacted on industries across the world. During the pandemic, Supply chain leaders made the decision to increase spending on predictive analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies during the pandemic. These technologies have established their worth over time and will most likely become a part of everyday life in the warehouse because of the operational efficiency it delivers, as well as many other benefits.
Filling the Labor Gap
At the end of 2021, companies expressed how difficult it has been to fill labor gaps. A prediction for 2022 is that companies will begin to fill the labor gap with automation technology, pairing it with AI to perform tasks such as inventory counts, product restocking and self-driving trucks.
Supply chain management can be stressful and overwhelming, especially with all the changes from the pandemic. Here at NewStream we provide supply chain management services that help relieve you and your team of this stress. We strive to ensure that customers get product when they need it, increasing visibility while decreasing associated supply chain costs. From vendor management to reducing lead times to customers, NewStream is here to help find the solution so that you can start to love your supply chain again.
Contact our experts today and find your perfect supply chain solution!