As someone whose day job does not involve looking at the overall market trends, I found this blog title of ‘Supply Chain 2015 Year in Review’ somewhat intimidating. But, I decided in the end to give it a go as I at least noticed one important thing this year that I had not noticed in the years past.
Last year, I saw this graphic popup many places. On LinkedIn and other web forums, someone was posting a version of this graphic every other day. The graphic is shown below. Copyright Disclaimer: The source of the graphic is here.
It is a very true and also very interesting graphic. It seems that in 2015, these companies with their digital business models made a big splash. I know all of these companies have been around a while, it took this graphic to connect the dots for me. And once I saw this graphic, I have started noticing similar models in many geographies. For me, 2015 will primarily be remembered for bringing these digital supply chains and business models to the fore. I think we will see a lot more businesses of this type springing up.
Continuing with the digital theme, 2015 was also the year where I first paid any attention to 3D printing. I saw it being talked about in many different forums. I think 3D printing is here to stay and will fundamentally change the way business is done.
2015 was also the year where I started hearing about the focus on the last mile delivery. We heard about Amazon’s model to do same day deliveries in some cities, as well as their deliver to your car initiative. At the same time we learned how Amazon decided to invest in its own logistics company in India to better compete with the local competition. This just further solidifies a trend we have where companies have tried to deploy more customer intimate strategies. I think we will see this trend get even stronger in future years. I actually feel this will make the companies rethink their global supply chain strategies and make them more local or regional. I wrote about this in some detail here.
Those are my observations on the supply chains in 2015. I have no doubt there was a lot that happened that I have missed to note here. I am sure that other, more capable observers, will expand upon those themes in their blogs. If you want to mention something specific, please let me know via comments.