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Supply Chain Statistics for 2021

November 28th, 2021 12 min read

If you’ve been online at all in the last few months, you’ve likely seen an article or two about problems with the supply chain and how it might cause issues with your holiday shopping. 

Supply chain issues came into public awareness amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite nearly two years and guidance from several consulting firms including Deloitte and Accenture, they remain a significant challenge for suppliers, manufacturers and retailers around the world.

The ongoing challenges have emphasized the need for efficient supply chain management for all businesses.

Top 10 Supply Chain Statistics for 2021

  1. It is estimated that the supply chain management industry will reach a valuation of $8.95 billion by 2024. (Statista 2020a)
  2. Of those in the supply chain management industry, 45.1% said that they were investing in warehouse management software, and that automation was a key feature. (Statista 2021a)
  3.  58.6% of retail supply chain executives wanted to invest more in omnichannel fulfillment, s a result of supply chain disruption.(Statista 2021b)
  4. 42% of supply management organizations stated that increased cost to supply management due to the Covid-19 pandemic was one of their top concerns of 2021. 43% of those in the same survey listed limited availability of raw materials or supply as a top concern. (Institute for Supply Management 2021).
  5. There will be 4 times as many cyber attacks on supply chain software in 2021 than there were in 2020. (ENISA 2021)
  6. Roughly two thirds of C-Suite executives would not know who to turn to if their supply chain was attacked. Of this group, 45% said they were only halfway to securing their software supply chain. (CloudBees 2021)
  7. 75% of supply chain and logistics professionals said that the pandemic changed their supply chain processes. (BluJay Solutions 2021)
  8. Outdated IT systems are a barrier to innovation to 14% of supply chain professionals. (BluJay Solutions 2021)
  9. AI platforms aimed at driving digital transformation will be adopted by 60% of G2000 manufacturing organizations by 2024, which could increase productivity by 20%. (Inbound Logistics 2019)
  10. The next gen supply chain market was valued at $32 billion in 2019 and is expected to double by 2030. (Statista 2020b)

Supply Chain News and Developments

2021 has been marked by key developments regarding supply chain disruptions, which has laid ample groundwork for companies aiming to provide solutions to raise some serious cash.

Finite State, but not Finite Cash

Finite State is an Ohio-based startup that offers product and supply chain security solutions to protect companies’ critical infrastructure and devices. The company raised $30 million in August, and an undisclosed amount in October. Given the increase in supply chain security concerns, it’s no surprise that they’ve continued to raise funds since their founding in 2007, including two funding rounds in 2021. 

Dexterity and the Dexterous Fundraising

This AI and robotics startup aids suppliers and warehouses with smarter technology. They aim to equip their customers to deal with the ever-increasing number of packages and shipments retailers need to process. After raising $140 million in October of this year, the firm has reached a total valuation of $1.4 billion. Their SaaS programs allow for their robots to handle packages with human-like skill, speed and gentleness. This can allow for more automation in a warehouse setting. 

Shippo and the Behemoth Budget

Shippo raised $95 million across two funding rounds this year, raising $45 million in February and $50 million in June. This latest round of funding brings the company’s valuation to $1 billion, a fitting number for a company named after such a large and powerful animal. The shipping giant aims to simplify shipping for suppliers, offering access to shipping rates from over 60 carriers all within one platform. 

Its recent fundraising and growing customer base show that the supply chain management, ecommerce and shipping industries are likely to continue to grow and that some of the shift to online shopping brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic will stick around for years to come.

Thrasio, International Billionaire

Thrasio is a firm that purchases FBA Amazon businesses and builds them into larger brands by focusing on several aspects, including supply chain management. In October of 2021, Thrasio raised $1 billion as they look to expand their business into India. As with Shippo, this huge amount of funding indicates that ecommerce is only going to continue to rise as more consumers do more of their shopping online.

Supply Chain Trends to Watch in 2021 and Beyond

Below are a few supply chain trends we’ve identified that we think will continue to grow beyond 2021.

Automation and AI

As noted with Dexterity, companies that provide AI and automation solutions for supply chain management are only going to continue to grow. In addition to the warehouse solutions provided by Dexterity, automation can be deployed for supplier management and AI can actively detect and respond to changes in demand as they occur.

Automation and AI can increase end-to-end visibility and transparency of an entire supply chain, which allows companies to better mitigate potential disruptions, improving supply chain performance. The increase in efficiency provided by increased automation is likely to be a key driver in revenue growth. This will occur alongside and help accelerate their human comrades being able to focus on more cognitively demanding tasks.

Security Risks

Supply chains are highly susceptible to security risks because there are so many elements that go into securing a supply chain. For example, securing a supply chain involves coordinating physical and cyber security. Within cybersecurity, there are a variety of risks including ransomware attacks and data breaches. It is not surprising then that security is one of the biggest challenges faced by global supply chains.

As cyber attacks on supply chains continue to rise, expect security to remain a hot topic as it pertains to the supply chain. Products that offer defense against these attacks are likely to see high adoption rates as organizations begin to prioritize supply chain security.

Visibility and Transparency

Visibility into all parts of the supply chain is vital. Supply chains are continuing to digitize, and as this occurs, it is easier for organizations to seek insights related to visibility and transparency in all aspects of their supply chains.

More visibility makes it easier to avoid minor problems, such as delivery delays or order errors, which improves customer service. This transparency also improves time to resolution for larger issues as they arise. 

As a part of transparency, supply chains will increasingly rely on the Internet of Things (IoT). Sensors can be installed across the supply chain to increase transparency by monitoring location of shipments through GPS tracking or monitoring warehouse operations. We predict that companies and organizations will continue to prioritize supply chain visibility. IMany companies may use blockchain to achieve greater transparency.

Agility

If Covid-19 has taught the world anything, it’s that they need to be more flexible. Supply chains are not exempt, and will continue to become more agile as time progresses. 

Shipment personalization is an area where supply chain professionals will likely develop new innovations to become more agile. Previously, making changes to cargo in the middle of the supply chain was incredibly difficult if not impossible. However, with the rapid changes experienced throughout the pandemic, supply chain professionals are recognizing the need for agility throughout the supply chain.

Sustainability

On the consumer side, buyers are demanding more sustainable business practices in an effort to force corporate action on climate change. These consumers are consciously purchasing more sustainable and eco-friendly products. Beyond consumer concerns, sustainable supply chain practices also have benefits to the companies using them.

Technology implementation that focuses on automation can reduce reliance on paper and streamline business operations. Using a reverse logistics strategy can reduce a company’s carbon footprint which is good for the environment and is a great marketing message. Since sustainable practices can increase efficiency and attract customers who want to see corporate actions that benefit the environment, they’re likely to continue to gain steam.

Sources

  • Supply chain management software market size worldwide 2019-2024 (Statista 2020a)
  • Most important technologies industry professionals are investing in 2020 (Statista 2021a)
  • Investment intentions in the retail supply chain in the U.S. 2020 (Statista 2021b)
  • COVID-19’S GLOBAL IMPACT ON SUPPLY CHAINS (Institute for Supply Management 2021)
  • Threat Landscape for Supply Chain Attacks (ENISA 2021)
  • Global C-Suite Security Survey (CloudBees 2021)
  • Competing on Customer Experience: The Driving Force Behind Supply Chain Innovation (BluJay Solutions 2021)
  • Manufacturers Laser-Focused on Technology (Inbound Logistics 2019)
  • Global next-gen supply chain market size 2019-2030 (Statista 2020b)

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