As the New Year quickly approaches, are you prepared with your supply chain resolutions? The new year is a great time to evaluate business goals and determine the best course of action for the upcoming year. End-to-end supply chain solution providers can assist in keeping up with trends while managing changes and implementations of regulations across a variety of industries.
Moving into the new year, automation and technology continue at the forefront of the supply chain. According to a 2016 MHI Annual Industry Report, 51 percent of respondents believe technology has the ability to offer an advantage to companies when leveraged appropriately. Adoption of robotics is currently at 35 percent with that number expected to reach 74 percent in the next six to 10 years1. Automation and technology, such as warehouse management systems, coupled with a 3PL provider can make for a seamless and intelligent supply chain.
E-commerce also continues to grow with an increased trend of online shopping. E-commerce sales have gone from nine percent of retail to 30 percent in 20162. As this trend continues to grow, and quick turn around and delivery are needed, the supply chain becomes key for retailers. Utilizing strategic warehousing and distribution centers paired with a dedicated fleet can ensure product is in the right location and delivered on time without interruption.
Staying compliant with regulations is an important part of the supply chain. Many policies are put in place to protect consumers or those operating the supply chain. In 2016, the Food and Drug Administration put into effect the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The act requires processes on sanitation and additional documentation on all food grown in or shipped to the United States to reduce the chance of food borne illnesses. For 2017, the government has budgeted $25.3 million in additional funding to FSMA. The funds will assist states in implementation and education of the program as well as support programs that hold importer responsible for ensuring food safety3. Having a knowledgeable 3PL with experience in regulations impacting the supply chain can create a worry-free environment and ensure product is moving without interruption while following policy.
Fleet operations will also see new regulation implementation by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Going into effect in December 2017, all carriers will be required to utilize electronic logging devices (ELD) in vehicle engines. This will synch the vehicle to record driving time for easier hours of service management4.
In 2017, the U.S. Department of Transportation will also continue to evaluate the potential required implementation of speed limiters on tractor-trailers. The limiters would control the top speed a truck could operate, potentially reducing accidents and increasing fuel economy while reducing emissions. According to the Department of Transportation, at 60 mph, tractor-trailers would save between $2,500 and $6,100 a year on fuel, the DOT estimates. At 65 mph, those figures fall to between $1,400 and $3,000, and at 68 mph a tractor-trailer would use between $640 and $1,400 less in fuel5.
As 2017 rolls in, resolve to optimize your supply chain, growing your business and bottom line. Utilize trends as opportunities to shape strategic direction and partner with a supply chain provider with the capabilities to carry out those visions. Anticipate regulation implementation with a knowledgeable 3PL to ensure compliance and check off your 2017 resolutions.