Supply chain management has surely evolved throughout the years. For instance, the role of supply chains in promoting productivity has increased in significance as modern business operations become more fast-paced. Moreover, with the advent of automation, AI, and data analytics, supply chain processes can now be more streamlined than ever. However, benefits can only be seen in companies that are embracing digital transformation.
With this in consideration, adoption laggards were caught struggling when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. In fact, 56% of retailers experienced moderate disruption from the pandemic. With recent digital innovations and the current state of the economy, you might be wondering whether your company can keep up. To find out, it is best that you arm yourself with the latest supply chain statistics.
In this article, we have compiled various data ranging from changes in supply chain visibility management to emerging technologies in the industry. We’ve also tackled a few of the best inventory management software that supply chain professionals use. This way, you have a clearer view regarding the state of the industry as well as identify what you can do to remain competitive in terms of supply chain management.
General Supply Chain Statistics
The supply chain is a crucial part of various industries. So much so, that many companies say it is what enables them to grow their business. With the current coronavirus situation, supply chain management is becoming more important. Today, it isn’t just believed to be one of the top drivers of customer service improvement. It is also a case of business survival.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the supply chain market size has been increasing. Professionals have been investing more in SCM strategies that can allow them to cut costs, automate processes, as well as expand their reach. Here is a look back into the previous years through these general key statistics.
Pre-Pandemic Perception of Supply Chain Management
- 57% of companies believe that supply chain management gives them a competitive edge that enables them to further develop their business. (GEODIS, 2019)
- A majority of industry professionals (70%) predict that the supply chain will be a key driver of better customer service before the end of 2020. (Accenture, 2018)
- The factors that increased supply chain spending in 2018 are cutting costs (25%), SCM automation (25%), and market expansion (23.7%). These were followed by data and analytics (6.6%), customer service (4%), adding new talent (4%), eCommerce (2.6%), direct-to-consumer sales (2.6%), and mobile-enabled consumers (1.3%). (Reuters, 2018)
Pre-Pandemic Supply Chain Priorities
Supply chain statistics show that over the past few years, there have been many changes in industrial processes. Consequently, the priorities and growth initiatives of companies have also evolved.
In the coming years, you will see that supply chain professionals will pay more attention to improving service quality and performance management. Moreover, we can expect that many companies will soon become more proactive in reinforcing supply chain processes using analytics.
- The top priorities among supply chain organizations in 2018 are improving service quality, focusing on performance management, and investing in data analytics. (APQC, 2018)
- 65% of executives in the logistics, transportation, and supply chain sectors report changes in industry processes. (Forbes, n.d.)
- 30% of supply chain professionals say that a quick response to customer mandates is a top business priority. (Logility, 2018)
The Effect of Covid-19
Because of the pandemic, supply chain operations worldwide report disruption. Moreover, professionals face supply chain changes in 2020 due to restrictions and safety protocols.
- 32% of global retailers stated that they underwent little disruption. (RetailNext, 2020)
- Only 12% of retailers worldwide reported heavy disruption due to the pandemic. (RetailNext, 2020)
- 64% of retailers were challenged to adapt their supply chain for ecommerce. (RetailNext, 2020)
- 56% renegotiated contracts. (RetailNext, 2020)
- 28% tried to find alternative sourcing options. (RetailNext, 2020)
- 28% underwent shortages and out-of-stocks. (RetailNext, 2020)
- Regardless of the pandemic, the global supply chain management market is set to grow at a CAGR of 11.2% from 2020 to 2027. The market is poised to reach $37.41 billion in 2020. (Businesswire, 2020)
Supply Chain Visibility Statistics
The supply chain is the backbone of business operations. So, companies must know all the activities happening in the supply chain to make sure it’s working the way it should. Unfortunately, plenty of businesses still don’t have complete visibility over their supply chains.
As a result, a lot of supply chain professionals are unable to accurately monitor their operations. Proof of this is the fact that 69% of companies do not have total visibility over their supply chains. For those who do their best to monitor their supply chain, on the other hand, they are limited to measuring daily performance, cost reductions, and production rates.
If you want to make sure that you always have a good grasp of your operations, you might want to consider checking out some of the leading business process management solutions and SCM systems on the market to gain more transparency in your supply chain.
Pre-Pandemic Supply Chain Visibility Issues
- Only 22% of companies have a proactive supply chain network. (Logistics Bureau, 2020)
- 62% of companies have limited visibility of their supply chain and 15% only have visibility on production. Meanwhile, 6% report full visibility, and 17% say they have extended supply chain visibility. (GEODIS, 2017)
- Supply chain visibility is among the top strategic priorities of companies worldwide. (GEODIS, 2017)
- The most common KPIs used for supply chain monitoring include daily performance (40%), cost reduction (35%), production service rate (29%), inventory turn (28%), and production time (27%). Other factors used are lead time (27%), return rate (25%), and ROA (22%). (GEODIS, 2017)
Supply Chain Disruptors
Aside from certain cultural barriers to SCV and the lack of tech use to reinforce SCM, companies also need to deal with supply chain disruptors. In the first six months of 2018 alone, 1,069 supply chain disruptions were recorded. These include anything from organizational restructuring to natural calamities. And, the COVID-19 pandemic is a salient example.
However, not all supply chain disruptions are that drastic. Even before the pandemic, supply chain disruptions happen often and they happen when you least expect them. Moreover, they can cause massive losses in terms of productivity, finances, and company reputation.
Despite this, however, many companies still don’t analyze the supply chain disruptions that they encounter due to a lack of supply chain visibility and internal coordination. So, they are often unprepared when these problems arise.
- Supply chain disruptions can cause significant negative losses in terms of finances (62%), logistics (54%), and reputation (54%). (
- The types of events that can lead to supply chain disruptions are mergers and acquisitions (66%), extreme weather (41%), factory fire (37%), and business sales (33%). (Resilinc, 2018)
- The top causes of supply chain disruption in the US are unplanned IT outages (68%), adverse weather (62%), loss of talent (51%), cyber-attacks (50%), and fire (44%). (BCI, 2020)
- 30% of companies don’t analyze the source of supply chain disruptions. (BCI, 2020)
Supply Chain Disruptors in 2020
- There were 4,200 disruptions in the first nine months of 2020. (ISM, 2020)
- This is a 14% increase over the number of 2019 supply chain disruptors which was 3,700. (ISM, 2020)
- 52% of 2020 disruptors in the first nine months of the year led to a “war room” situation. This is when mapped supplier sites are potentially threatened and monitoring is heightened. (ISM, 2020)
- Only 39% of 2019 disruptions resulted in a “war room” situation. The first nine months of 2020 recorded a 13 percentage point increase. (ISM, 2020)
Statistics on Shipping and Transportation
Transportation and shipping play a big part in supply chain management. These are what allow you to distribute your products and keep your warehouses fully stocked. Unfortunately, it seems that these two are also bound to play a bigger part in your supply chain spending.
Pre-pandemic statistics showed that transportation and shipping costs are poised to grow in the coming years. Luckily, you can find ways to reduce these fees by simply leveraging efficient transportation management systems.
The Pre-Pandemic Transportation Management Systems Market
- The market share of transportation management systems worldwide is predicted to hit $4.8 billion before the end of 2025.
- Transportation and logistics activities currently account for 12% of the global GDP. (Forbes, 2018)
- 74% of supply chain companies utilize 4 or 5 transportation methods. These include road full truckload and air freight. (GEODIS, 2017)
- Shipping costs have increased to $21.7 billion in 2017. (MarketWatch, 2018)
- Shippers can minimize freight invoice payments by 90-95% if they utilize a transportation management system. (GlobalTranz, 2018)
- Using transportation management tools can yield an 8% saving on freight costs. (ARC, n.d.)
- Only 35% of shipping companies utilize transportation management systems for their overall SCM strategies. (Logistics Management, 2017)
The Plans of Executives to Enhance Resilience in Transportation and Logistics in 2020
- 53% of executives plan to dual source raw materials. (McKinsey, 2020)
- 47% of executives plan to increase the inventory of critical products. (McKinsey, 2020)
- 40% plan the nearshoring and expansion of their supplier base. (McKinsey, 2020)
- 38% plan to regionalize the supply chain. (McKinsey, 2020)
- 30% plan to reduce the number of SKUs in their product portfolios. (McKinsey, 2020)
- 27% plan to have higher inventory along the supply chain. (McKinsey, 2020)
- 27% plan to backup production sites. (McKinsey, 2020)
- 15% plan to nearshore their own productions. (McKinsey, 2020)
- 15% plan to increase the number of their distribution centers. (McKinsey, 2020)
Inventory Management Statistics
Inventory management is one of the pillars of supply chains. Through this, professionals can keep track of their resources and ensure they are fully stocked to run their operations.
However, there are many practices involved in inventory management, and doing them manually can eat up a lot of productive hours and put a damper on efficiency. This is why it’s alarming that many businesses, particularly SMBs, are still not utilizing inventory management systems for operations. Moreover, some don’t even have a way to track their inventory.
The silver lining in this scenario is that many manufacturers are interested in rolling out advanced warehouse management processes or investing in inventory management software.
Pre-Pandemic Inventory Management Priorities
- The most important inventory management practices are forecasting (61.3%), warehouse management (50%), logistics (46.8%), and back-end technology (32.3%). These are closely followed by training data scientists (21%), returns management (21%), and data interchange technology (17.7%). In addition, some prioritize investing in sensor technology (12.9%), training retail staff in eCommerce (11.3%), retooling DCs (9.7%), and refitting stores to have warehouse capabilities (3.2%). (Statista, 2020)
- 46% of small businesses use don’t track their inventory or don’t have an automated method to track it. (Wasp Barcode, 2018)
- Only 18% of SMBs utilize inventory management systems. (Wasp Barcode, 2018)
- 25% more manufacturers are investing in more advanced warehouse management in 2017 than in 2016. (Statista, 2020)
Pre-Pandemic Quantifiable Benefits of Efficient Inventory Management
Statistics show that aside from simply streamlining operations, effective inventory management offers a lot more benefits for supply chains. For instance, it can help you maximize your storage space and make way for new products. In addition, it will allow you to make your stock use more efficient. There are also professionals who optimize their inventory system to improve their ability to gauge supply and demand.
- Companies can reap a 25% increase in productivity, a 20% gain in space usage, and a 30% improvement in stock use efficiency if they use integrated order processing for their inventory system. (EasyPost, 2019)
- 36% of supply chain professionals say that one of the top drivers of their analytics initiative is the optimization of inventory management to balance supply and demand. (Logility, 2018)
Because of COVID-19 health and safety protocols and restrictions, the face of inventory management worldwide has changed. Many challenges popped up including imbalance, scarcity, shortages, and overstocking among many.
Inventory Management Challenges During the Pandemic
- In 2020, the retail sector experienced drastic global inventory distortion. The estimated value for out-of-stock items is $1.14 trillion. Only $626 billion are overstock. (IHL Group, 2020)
- The estimated value of global inventory distortion among mass merchants and grocery retailers in 2020 is $176.7 billion for overstock and $568.7 billion for out-of-stock. (IHL Group, 2020)
- The value of inventory distortion costs in the global retail industry by levels in 2020 is $580 million for store level, $512 million for supply chain, and $677 by the manufacturer. (IHL Group, 2020)
Inventory Management Strategies to Take Post-COVID
- 19.6% plan to have more inventory. (BCI, 2020)
- 26.9% will keep inventory levels the same but will be changing supplier base. (BCI, 2020)
- 19.2% will keep the same inventory levels but keep the same suppliers. (BCI, 2020)
- 21.6% are unsure which inventory management direction they are going to go for. (BCI, 2020)
- 12.7% of business leaders that inventory management planning is not applicable in their organizations. (BCI, 2020)
Best Inventory Management Software
- Netsuite ERP is a comprehensive and scalable ERP solution with robust inventory management tools. It sports end-to-end supply chain management features such as inventory control, warehouse management, demand planning, and vendor management.
- Vend allows users to manage their inventory conveniently and accurately. It has a comprehensive list of features packed in an easy-to-use interface including a POS module, custom receipts, customer management, and reporting tools.
- Zoho Inventory provides users with web-based tools powerful enough to manage their inventory accurately and conveniently. Features include end-to-end tracking, delivery tracking, inventory control, purchase order management, and software management.
- QuickBooks Enterprise has a robust inventory management system perfect for any business size. It surrounds its inventory tracking features with other tools such as industry-specific reporting, inventory costs tracking, and customer prioritization.
- TradeGecko is one of the top inventory management platforms. Its features include a centralized order and sales management module, inventory optimization, multiple currency support, custom pricing, and supplier management.
Supply Chain Tech Statistics
Technology makes the world go round. So, when it comes to dealing with complicated supply chain processes, companies are starting to utilize different types of tech to reinforce their efforts.
However, it is best to note that not all technologies are created equal. While many companies see how the positive impact that these advancements may bring, they are only going to prioritize a handful of them. These include analytics, IoT, and cloud computing. This especially true during the pre-pandemic era.
- The technologies that are becoming a priority in the supply chain industry are data analysis (41%), IoT (39%), cloud computing (39%), and info security (31%). In addition, there are also those interested in predictive analytics (29%), apps (25%), 3D printing (22%), robotics (22%), drones (20%), mobile production units (19%), blockchain (18%), and cognitive robotics (17%). (GEODIS, 2017)
- 50% of companies believe that technological advancements have a strong impact on the supply chain, logistics, and transportation operations. (Forbes, 2018)
- Experts predict that the global SCM software revenue worldwide will reach $8.5 billion by 2022. (Apps Run the World; Statista, 2020)
Data-Driven Supply Chain Management
Knowledge is power and there’s no better way to gain knowledge into your supply chain than big data. So, it doesn’t come as a surprise that data analytics is the next big thing in supply chain tech. As you can see in the statistics below, an increasing number of supply chain leaders are realizing the importance of analyzing various types of data when it comes to boosting operational efficiency and reducing costs. Luckily, there’s plenty of data analytics software to choose from.
Even before the pandemic hit, professionals have been moving towards a more data-driven approach to supply chain management.
Pre-Pandemic Demand for Data-Driven Supply Chain Management
- 40.7% of modern companies believe that data analytics will be one of the key technologies for supply chain management in the next two years. (Logistics Management, 2018)
- 28% of supply chain leaders say that analyzing data from multiple systems for SCM is a key benefit of advanced analytics. (Logility, 2018)
- 81% of supply chain managers report that data analytics will be crucial when it comes to reducing costs. (The Hackett Group, 2017)
- 75% of large manufacturers are looking to update supply chain operations using IoT and analytics-based situational awareness before the end of 2019. (Inbound Logistics, 2019)
Pre-Pandemic Demand for Artificial Intelligence
We’ve heard it a million times: AI is the future of business. This holds true in the supply chain industry. In fact, a growing number of companies are using artificial intelligence and machine learning to power their processes. Moreover, many of the leading manufacturing companies believe that they will soon be dependent on AI in the near future.
Meaning, businesses should do more to invest in artificial intelligence in the coming years. This is especially because a huge chunk of businesses are still falling behind when it comes to AI adoption.
For more insights on AI and machine learning usage data, you might want to consider checking out this list of machine learning statistics. This should provide you with information on how other industries are using this to improve business processes.
- According to a supply chain market analysis, 19% of companies that roll out SCM initiatives leverage machine learning to boost forecast accuracy. (Logility, 2018)
- More than half of the G2000 manufacturing companies say they will rely on AI for their supply chain management initiatives before 2024. (Inbound Logistics, 2019)
- The average expenditure of top organizations on AI for their SCM operations is $17 million. (Reuters, 2018)
- Only 4% of companies leverage artificial intelligence extensively for their supply chain management efforts. (Reuters, 2018)
- 46% of organizations don’t use AI at all for their operations while 50.1% report limited usage. (Reuters, 2018)
Pre-Pandemic Interest in Emerging Supply Chain Tech
The evolution of supply chain tech is not limited to AI and data analytics. As you’ll see in the statistics below, many companies are experimenting with other forms of technology such as warehouse robotics, augmented reality, virtual reality, and pick-to-light systems. With these emerging technologies, you can expect more complex but more efficient supply chain processes in the future.
- Experts predict that 50% of manufacturing supply chains will be able to make direct-to-consumption shipments and home delivery by 2020. (Industry Today, 2017)
- 50.6% of organizations use warehouse robotics for SCM. (Reuters, 2018)
- AR and VR investments for supply chain management jumped from 8% in 2017 to 23% in 2018. (Kenco, 2019)
- Pick rate productivity can increase by up to 50% if you use pick-to-light systems. (MHI, n.d.)
Tech Adoption in the Pre-Pandemic Supply Chain Industry
There are still companies that don’t utilize SCM tech despite the plethora of options on the market. Supply chain data reveal that a majority of organizations still haven’t invested in advanced tech for monitoring their processes. In addition, some still rely on traditional methods such as spreadsheets.
This low tech adoption can be attributed to factors such as cost and complexity. After all, not every company has the resources to purchase new software solutions or hire tech-savvy employees who know how to use them.
The good news here is that there’s a growing number of software providers offering more affordable products. Even better is that they are making these products easier to navigate, so companies no longer need extensive technical know-how to utilize them.
If you would like to learn more about technology implementation, we highly recommend taking a look at our compilation of technology statistics. This should provide you with information regarding adoption, implementation, and best practices not only for supply chain management but for other industries as well.
- A supply chain market report says that 63% of organizations have no tech systems in place for monitoring supply chain performance. (BCI, 2017)
- 46% of supply chain professionals still reply on excel spreadsheets for their operations. (BCI, 2017)
- The biggest barriers to tech implementation are cost (48%), ROI calculations 40%), and knowing where to start (35%). In addition, there are those who have problems with finding the right supplier (11%) and dealing with potential interruption to current services (10%). (Reuters, 2018)
Leaders in Main Supply Chain Management Software Worldwide
- Just before the pandemic, SAP from Germany is the leading supplier with a $4.1 billion revenue in 2019. (SCMR, 2020)
- Oracle is second with a revenue of $1.7 billion. (SCMR, 2020)
- Blue Yonder, previously JDA Software, is third with $835.8 million. (SCMR, 2020)
- Coup ranked fourth with $334.8 million. (SCMR, 2020)
- Info Global Solutions ranked fifth with $333.1 revenue. (SCMR, 2020)
SCM Software Projections: 2020/2021 and Beyond
- In 2019, the SCM market revenue was $8.254 million. It was projected that in 2020, the revenue will go up to $8.386 million and rise to $8.950 million in 2024. (Apps Run The World, 2020; Statista, 2020)
- In 2021, the projected spend for employees using SCM software is $6.56. (Statista, 2020)
- By 2025, the average spending for employees for SCM software will likely be at $8.08. (Statista, 2020)
- The projected top five markets for SCM in 2021 are the US at $8.6 billion, Germany at $885 million, the UK with $847 million, Japan with $824 million, and China with $737 million. (Statista, 2020)
Statistics on Supply Chain Challenges
Many challenges plague the supply chain industry. Several supply chain data sources reveal that many professionals are having problems with improving their operational visibility and meeting the changing customer demands. This is in addition to being constrained due to cost increases and the increasingly competitive business landscape.
This only illustrates that modern supply chain management efforts require initiatives that promote transparency and agility in your operations. In addition, now might be the time to start rolling out data-driven processes to improve your overall supply chain.
- In 2018, the biggest challenges in supply chain management are visibility (21.1%), fluctuating consumer demand (19.7%), and inventory management (13.2%). Some also noted coordinating across sales channels (11.8%), finding talent (9.2%), and keeping up with tech (6.6%). Meanwhile, the sourcing (5.3%), ensuring an ethical supply chain (5.3%), manufacturing (4%), and data management (1.3%). (eft, 2018)
- The leading supply chain market constraints are containing cost increases (32%), facing global competition (28%), and adapting to customer expectations (27%). (GEODIS, 2017)
- 24.7% of professionals report that the biggest supply chain management challenge for B2C eCommerce companies is delivery costs. (Reuters, 2018)
Retail Supply Chain Executives Willing to Invest in the Following Areas in 2021
- 58.6% want to increase investment in omnichannel fulfillment. (Statista, 2021)
- 55.73% productive planning and demand forecasting. (Statista, 2021)
- 52.87% want to enable flexible operations. (Statista, 2021)
- 48.52% want to improve inventory management. (Statista, 2021)
- 40.02% want to invest in real-time supply chain visibility. (Statista, 2021)
- 40.02% want to improve integrated operational planning. (Statista, 2021)
- 37.15% want to invest more in systems to automate risk identification and issue resolution. (Statista, 2021)
- 31.52% want to invest in production and distribution automation. (Statista, 2021)
What Do These Supply Chain Facts Mean for Your Business?
If there’s anything we can take away from this compilation of supply chain data, it’s that emerging process management development and fluctuating consumer demands are reshaping the supply chain. That is to say, companies should expect the need to be more proactive in meeting industry expectations.
However, it is best to note that adapting to these industry shifts won’t be easy. Not only will companies have to invest in more tech-forward and data-driven processes; they will also have to continue learning about new strategies that will help them drive business growth.
We hope that, through this list of supply chain statistics, we were able to help you be more up-to-date regarding the major changes in the industry. Using this as a guide, it should be easier to understand the shifts in supply chain processes, challenges, and best practices.
To further reinforce your supply chain, we highly recommend that you consider exploring different SaaS products. These might include inventory management tools, warehouse management systems, SCM platforms, as well as BPM solutions. With these, you can accelerate your processes and eliminate the risks of human error.
But, of course, before you start browsing and investing in these products, you should first take a look at our guide to how SaaS works. This should help you understand the purpose of SaaS in different industries as well as how you can leverage it for your company.
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