Ecological responsibility and the use of digital technologies are currently among the key trends in supply chain management. According to the 18th Hermes Barometer “Trends in Supply Chain Management “*, this view is held by around two-thirds of a total of 150 logistics managers from German companies surveyed. For greater supply chain resilience, the respondents also rely on stable supplier relationships and the establishment of an efficient risk management. The basis for the latter is a detailed and transparent data overview – however, companies still see potential for optimization in this context.
The majority of companies surveyed for the 18th Hermes Barometer currently view the topics of sustainability and digitalization as key trends in supply chain management. At 78 percent, most participants agree that digital technologies have a significant influence on the resilience of the supply chain and make a decisive contribution to being able to successfully overcome future crises. In medium-sized companies with 50 to 250 employees, as many as 83 percent share this assessment.
And yet – the more complex and global supply chains become, the more diverse the risks they are exposed to. Efficient risk management for the identification, elimination and prevention of disruptions in the supply chain is therefore seen as the second strongest trend in supply chain management by 82 percent of larger companies with 250 to 1,000 employees.
Establishing stable supplier relationships is important for companies
In order to increase the resilience of the supply chain in the long term, the survey participants see the establishment of stable supplier relationships as a particularly suitable measure: Eight out of ten of the survey respondents (81 percent) across all company sizes consider collaborative partnerships within the supply chain to be very important.
“Companies are increasingly aware of the positive impact of collaborative working and are therefore consciously focusing on cooperation with partners and suppliers,” confirms Moritz Gborglah. “In this way, they can proactively counteract potential risks and increase the efficiency of procurement processes.”
Importance of transparency and platform solutions not yet sufficiently recognized
Risk management, sustainability control and partnership-based collaboration benefit from detailed insights and analyses of process data across the entire supply chain – after all, a detailed data overview is the basis for sound decisions and optimized work processes. However, companies have so far been rather hesitant in their approach to this topic: Only every other respondent (54 percent) sees transparency as a significant tool for strengthening the supply chain.
The 18th Hermes Barometer also reveals further potential for development in the increased use of platform solutions: Collaboration is indeed seen as a central trend in supply chain management. However, only half of all participants surveyed consider the use of collaborative solutions to be a suitable measure for increasing supply chain resilience.