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Supply chain innovation – present and future

Jörg Junghanns
23 Mar 2023

Recent innovations in technology have made supply chain operations more efficient, sustainable, secure, and resilient. But what are the emerging technologies and trends that will have an impact on supply chains in the future?

“The pace of change has never been this fast, yet it will never be this slow again.”

I recently came across this fantastic quote by Justin Trudeau from the 2018 World Economic Forum, which really encapsulates the speed at which change is increasing, especially post the global pandemic. This got me thinking on how technology has impacted supply chains in recent few years, and how the evolution of technology will undoubtedly disrupt our market like never before.

The value of supply chain innovation

Some noteworthy innovations that have impacted the supply chain sector over the last few past years include the Internet of Things (IoT), predictive analysis, artificial intelligence (AI), 3D-printing, and blockchain technology – which each bring their own innovations to the table.

IoT collects real-time data from your supply chain, providing increased visibility into inventory levels, shipment status, and environmental conditions. While predictive analytics processes leverage data, statistical algorithms, and machine learning techniques to identify the likelihood of future business outcomes. They also leverage targeting to identify potential disruptions, optimize inventory levels, and improve delivery cycles.

AI, meanwhile, doesn’t just automate repetitive tasks within your supply chain. It typically analyzes data and identifies patterns – enabling your team to make better decisions across the board. While 3D printing enables products to be manufactured on demand, leading to reduced lead and transportation times, improved flexibility, and significant waste reduction.

Finally, blockchain provides a secure and transparent platform that drives increased visibility and product and transaction traceability to enhance trust and reduces fraud across your operations.

While these innovations will continue to have the potential to make supply chain management and operations more efficient, transparent, and responsive to changing business needs, their potential is far from being fully exploited.

However, if Mr. Trudeau is correct, we can expect more emerging technologies and trends to drive profound change to supply chains both now and in the future. These might include:

  • Digital twins – virtual replicas of physical assets or processes that model and optimize logistics operations, predict maintenance needs, and simulate scenarios to identify potential issues in an isolated digital environment
  • Augmented reality – which enhances supply chain operations by providing real-time information and visual guidance to workers who may be working on complex assembly processes, or helping locate items more efficiently
  • The sustainability and circular economy – which places greater emphasis on sustainability, as supply chains are expected to become more focused on environmental and social responsibility
  • Quantum computing – which has the potential to improve optimization and decision-making processes, while providing holistic risk simulations, better insights and visibility, and higher levels of cybersecurity

With potential, comes challenge

Although all of the technologies above have shown the potential to revolutionize supply chain operations, they also present new challenges such as the increasing threat of cybersecurity, and highlight the need for an upskilled workforce.

Indeed, moving towards an intelligent supply chain requires significant and consistent investment. Not only in streamlining processes and implementing new technologies, but also supporting emerging roles and skillsets to respond to and stay ahead of the evolving nature of work within the supply chain.

To discover how Capgemini’s Intelligent Supply Chain Operations delivers cognitive, touchless operations, and data-driven decision-making to your organization, contact:

Jörg Junghanns leverages innovation and a strategic and service mindset to help clients transform their supply chain operations into a growth enabler.


Jörg Junghanns

K+N Partnership Lead, Intelligent Supply Chain Operations, Capgemini’s Business Services
Jörg is Capgemini’s VP Europe for Intelligent Supply Chain Operations, driving transformative solutions across industries. He employs innovation and strategic thinking to empower supply chain growth, utilizing Capgemini’s Digital Services for planning, order management, procurement, and automation. With a global background, he excels in digital strategy, shared services, process design, and project management.