Blog: How GAINS Embodies ASCM’s Supply Chain Vision for 2024 by Amber Salley

By Amber Salley

As a leader in supply chain management, GAINS demonstrates a keen alignment with the trends for 2024 by the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM). Illustrating that GAINS is not only responsive to the current shifts and needs of the industry but also proactive in adopting and implementing strategies that position us at the forefront of innovation and efficiency.

Far from chasing a “trend,” GAINS has been using digital analytics, automation, and an incremental approach to implementation design for years. Below, we outline the 2024 trends as identified by ASCM and how GAINS remains ahead of the curve when it comes to Supply Chain solutions. 

ASCM Trends for 2024

Digital Transformation:

The shift toward digitization in supply chain management is paramount, with organizations transforming their networks into digital ecosystems and enabling the use of emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and cloud-based solutions. In 2024, supply chains should aim to become more connected, intelligent, and agile, with a focus on converting data into a digital format to leverage these technologies.

GAINS encourages companies to work towards holistic digital transformation. Guiding businesses in finding the balance between long-term  investments to support decision automation and immediate solutions to reduce repetitive tasks and improve planner productivity, enabling employees to focus on more strategic areas.

GAINS is strongly committed to digitizing the supply chain, leveraging technologies like AI, cloud-based solutions, and supply chain digital twins. GAINS has always maintained that digital transformation is crucial in developing more connected, intelligent, and agile supply chains, essential in today’s fast-paced VUCA environment.

Big Data and Analytics

Utilizing large data sets to uncover patterns, correlations, and insights is especially useful in forecasting and understanding customer and consumer behavior. Big data and analytics are pivotal tools for organizations looking to identify inefficiencies, cut costs, bolster customer service, and enhance resilience and agility amidst frequent disruptions. Sales and marketing data are instrumental in forecasting demand, refining inventory management, and enriching the customer experience.

GAINS utilizes big data to identify inefficiencies in your supply chain operations, enhance customer service levels, balance inventory levels, and improve supply chain resilience and agility. By analyzing patterns and insights from large data sets, including historical, sales, syndicated, and supplier data, GAINS helps companies make better-informed decisions and stay ahead of an ever-changing market.

For supply chain professionals to fully harness the power of big data and analytics, it’s crucial to emphasize data exchange and information sharing to foster a more connected and informed network like GAINS customer Benco Dental.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) advancements are rapidly transforming every industry, and supply chain management is no exception. AI is revolutionizing key areas such as intelligent sourcing, inventory management, and logistical route planning with substantial results. Furthermore, machine learning (ML), a critical subset of AI, enables sophisticated predictions and decision-making in demand forecasting, quality control, new product development, and more.

GAINS’ use of AI and ML indicates its focus on innovation in inventory management, transportation strategy, and demand forecasting. These advances in technology not only increase efficiency but also help in predictive maintenance and performance optimization.

Investment in systems and people.

Training and development create a culture of innovation and foster an environment where shared insights lead to tangible successes in supply chain management. The increasing adoption of supply chain technology drives valuable insights through enhanced automation, supply chain-as-a-service, and cloud-based solutions. These technologies are optimizing networks and promoting sustainability, improving collaboration with partners, increasing visibility, and aiding organizations in becoming more flexible and agile.

Recognizing the critical role of human capital, GAINS invests in training and developing our workforce in the latest technologies and actively encourages the companies we work with to do the same. Beyond internal development, it fosters a broader culture of continuous learning and innovation across the supply chain ecosystem.

We have learned that when all players in the supply chain are adequately trained and equipped, the entire network becomes more robust, adaptive, and efficient. The supply chain workforce sees improvements in productivity and is better position to make higher quality decisions. By championing this holistic approach, GAINS ensures our teams and partners are well-prepared to meet the evolving demands of the supply chain industry.

Disruption and risk management

Constant disruption stemming from factors like congested transportation systems, geopolitical shifts, and natural disasters (Over the past five years, the U.S. has experienced an average of $18B in climate disasters each year, up from $6.7B in the 2000s), material shortages, and global health crises. To navigate this new VUCA era, organizations are shifting their focus from reactive to proactive through effective risk management strategies. This involves identifying and evaluating internal and external risks and developing and implementing mitigation strategies such as supplier diversification, inventory buildup, and enhanced visibility.

Additionally, organizations are rigorously testing and refining their plans to address any shortcomings, maintaining open communication with stakeholders about risk management, and continuously monitoring and updating their strategies to ensure they remain relevant and effective in an ever-changing environment. They are effectively managing their supply chains in a drastically different way that allows them to be more adaptable to constantly changing economic and market conditions.

GAINS’s strategies reflect an understanding of the need for robust risk management. Our approach involves proactive planning, constantly evaluating potential risks, and developing contingency plans to ensure smooth operations despite external challenges.

Agility and resilience

A supply chain that can swiftly adapt to changing demands, product varieties, and distribution channels is paramount. Achieving agility in 2024 will require an array of new capabilities. Embedding digitization, optimization, sustainability, and talent development within the supply chain is crucial. These elements collectively enhance supply chain resilience, a strategic priority for 2024 that aligns with the evolving demands of a dynamic consumer market.

In this “VUCA era” marked by frequent disruptions, GAINS’s strategies reflect an understanding of the need for robust risk management. The company’s approach involves proactive planning, constant evaluation of potential risks, and developing contingency plans to ensure smooth operations despite external challenges.

GAINS’s operations emphasize the need for agility and resilience in the supply chain. By adopting new tools and technologies, fostering a knowledgeable and flexible workforce, and focusing on continual optimization, GAINS ensures that its customers can rapidly respond to changing market demands and meet their customers’ needs.

Embracing the Future: GAINS’s Vision for a Progressive Supply Chain

Our alignment with the ASCM’s top supply chain trends of 2024 showcases GAINS’ dedication to staying ahead in the industry through constant innovation, strategic planning, and taking an adaptable approach to the ever-changing global supply chain landscape. It is not just about adopting new technologies or processes; it’s about fostering a culture that embraces change, values sustainability, prioritizes collaboration, and consistently seeks to innovate. GAINS approach ensures your business can keep its promises to your customers.

Amber Salley is the VP of Industry Strategy at GAINS and is a Former Gartner Supply Chain Analyst

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