There are a number of factors affecting supply chain companies across the nation. When the economy began to improve, laborers transitioned back into higher paying jobs. The political clime also reduced the contracted labor workforce as the government began to crack down on undocumented immigrants. Lastly, a rising minimum wage put a strain on companies seeking laborers as those individuals could secure less labor-intensive jobs for similar pay.
The supply chain industry will need to innovate in order to remain competitive and attractive as an employer as well as a service provider. In addition to tightening labor markets, customers expect more services for less money. The following are some of the ways the supply chain industry will need to evolve to manage the labor gap and shifting customer expectations:
- Last-mile delivery. Thanks to e-commerce industry giants, customers now expect next-day or even same-day delivery. This has a profound effect on a supply chain company’s ability to keep up with production schedules and manage the logistics of deliveries. This means supply chain businesses will need to improve their existing operations to be quicker and more flexible.
- Enhanced transparency. In the past, companies considered it a perk to provide insight into the supply chain process. Now, customers expect it. They want to know where their shipment is at all times in real-time. Supply chain companies will need to invest more time into their IT resources and data analysts to keep up with consumers growing demands.
- Automating workforces. With a growing labor gap, many industry experts are looking for automated solutions. Self-guided vehicles, mechanical pallet and item picking, and more will allow supply chain companies to bridge the labor shortage gap. This will also likely signal a shift from laborers to engineers running warehouses in order to repair complex machines.
Waiting to automate may save money in the short-term, but it can have long-term ramifications. Customer expectations aren’t going to slow down anytime soon and waiting to implement innovative technology until it’s mandatory for business operations is likely too late.
The experts at MMA Florida understand making technological upgrades and changes represents a significant financial risk for supply chain companies. Contact us to learn how we can help reduce your risk to allow your Florida-based supply chain business thrive.