Trend: Agility will become a focus in 2021
In logistics, the ability to get products from point A to point B efficiently is always the goal but in 2021, agility will become even more important.
This trend is one of our 2021 logistics predictions that we are discussing in more detail throughout the year.
With COVID-19 shutting the world down in 2020, supply chains experienced a remarkable strain as each part of the chain tried to switch to shipping to individual homes more so than large retail locations. Demands on manufacturing and rapidly evolving consumer behavior created chaos, but also opportunities to shine.
We don’t believe that things will go back to a pre-COVID “normal” any time soon, if ever. People’s habits and expectations are forever changed and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It simply requires that we take the lessons learned in 2020 and use them to become more agile and sustainable in 2021 and beyond.
What does that look like?
Our industry already uses data to drive decisions, but as we shared earlier this month, COVID forced a drastic (and necessary) increase in digitization in our industry. The ability to submit, track, and use cloud-based data is vital to success if the logistics industry wants to even keep up, let alone accelerate its abilities in the coming year and beyond.
Long-range planning is likely a thing of the past. Sure, we will still plan. But now, part of that will need to include multiple possible scenarios and a plan for how to respond when the unexpected (like a pandemic) wreaks havoc on anything you had possibly already conceived happens. Overall, however, agility will require shortened planning cycles and excellent contingency planning.
Having staff that specializes in their field is excellent, but something that COVID has taught many industries is that having staff that can pivot and perform another team member’s duties easily is important. We are surprised that this trait is not discussed in relationship to agility more often. Having a staff that can be malleable to meet the ever-changing customer needs and requirements within the company just makes sense. It means that when the demand suddenly increases or staff member numbers suddenly decline, the work still gets done with excellence.
Let us help
We specialize in final mile delivery in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Kansas. As your company moves into the rest of 2021, let us be a part of making your new supply chain a success.