Since the adoption of digital technology into supply chain management processes, the field has continued to realise major efficiency improvements. Software developments have enabled advancements into new areas of air transportation and the internet of things enhances the way products are able to be tracked. This period also saw Asia emerge and become a global manufacturing powerhouse with China, Japan, India and South Korea alone, currently accounting for 41% of the world’s manufacturing output, further fueling the growth of globalization.
Demand for ethical and environmentally friendly supply chains is now also having a strong impact on how businesses interact with suppliers. Consumers are demanding transparency throughout the supply chain process to see whether the goods they purchase negatively impact the climate and to ensure they have been made without the exploitation of child labour. In a survey by Open Text, 81% of respondents said purchasing from ethically sourced and produced products mattered. Approximately 83% then stated that they’re willing to spend around 17.5% more on purchasing ethically sourced and produced products.
These efforts, combined with the continued developments of technology to improve the collection and interpretation of various data, have shaped modern-day supply chain operations. No longer are supply chains limited to local regions, like that of the post-19th century era. Supply chains now have global reach whilst maintaining the same connectivity levels of the earliest forms.