How the supply chain industry is at a crucial juncture

Image created using AI. Created by Marcus Moloko

In 2024 the supply chain industry finds itself at a crucial juncture, earmarked by a blend of technological innovation, shifting consumer behaviours, and the continued pursuit of sustainability in 2024.

New challenges have mushroomed and the effects of global events in recent years have introduced new challenges alongside opportunities that require a multi-faceted approach from industry role players to stay ahead of the curve.

The needs to be a conscientious application of developing an agile and resilient supply chain that is better equipped to handle unexpected shifts in demand, supply, or external factors.  This will result in maintaining continuity and meeting customer expectations according to Jeanne Hugo, Senior Director in supply chain at CHEP IMETA

Jeanne Hugo, Senior Director Supply Chain, CHEP IMETA.

Here are some trends spotted that can aid in reshaping the supply chain industry in 2024 and beyond:


Supply chain resilience requires the integration of advanced risk management strategies, with businesses adopting more proactive measures to identify potential disruptions early.

This should allow companies to create necessary plans and responses to unforeseen events.

There’s a desperate need for diversification, both in terms of supply sources and logistics networks.  Businesses are predicted to broaden their supplier base and explore alternative logistics solutions to mitigate the risk of supply chain disruptions.

Regulatory Line

Climate change concerns are mounting and governments worldwide are expected to introduce more stringent regulations aimed at reducing carbon emissions and promoting sustainable practices.

This regulatory shift is likely to impact various aspects of the supply chain, from manufacturing processes to packaging and logistics.

Businesses will need to adapt by looking at more eco-friendly practices in their operations, while ensuring compliance and also meeting the increasing consumer demand for sustainability.

Shifts in consumer behaviour. 

Consumers are more conscientious about the products they purchase and the companies they support.  This shift is reflected in their preference for sustainable products and brands that exemplify and support environmentally responsible programs.

This highlights a demand for transparency in sustainability claims.  It’s clear that consumers are adopting better purchase decision strategies to maximize value, and want products that offer the best value while meeting their specific needs.

Embracing e-Commerce 

According to Hugo, the rise of omnichannel retailing will continue to reshape the e-commerce landscape meaning this year, businesses are expected to enhance their omnichannel strategies, providing a seamless consumer experience across various platforms.

The integration of supply chain systems with e-commerce platforms is imperative, as this integration enables real time inventory management, order tracking and demand forecasting.  With e-commerce breaking geographical barriers, there’s an increased emphasis on building a diversified and resilient supply chain that can efficiently manage a national distribution footprint and cross border logistics.

Protecting data

Analytics are crucial, but without substantial support, they are insufficient according to experts.  Hugo maintains that the foundation of success lies in a comprehensive digitally integrated solution that harnesses data effectively, enabling organizations to gain actionable insights and the execution of data-driven decisions.

Also read: MTN’s plan towards net zero emissions



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