We Talked to Hundreds of Supply Chain Professionals About Their Biggest Challenges. Here’s What They Said.

Supply chain experts understand what it takes to thrive in challenging environments, and 2022 pushed supply chain professionals to their limits – an ongoing pandemic, global conflict, climate crises, and inflation just to name a few. Experts in the industry were forced to utilize new tools, leverage innovation, and try anything and everything possible to reach their goals.

So, to better understand what supply chain pros were truly up against, we sat down and talked to hundreds of customers, partners, and supply chain experts about their biggest supply chain challenges over the last year. It was obvious the challenges were abundant – here are a few of the trending topics mentioned in our discussions:

  • Visibility
  • Connectivity
  • Data Sharing
  • Ukraine Crisis
  • Cost of living
  • Ability to service customers
  • Aligning on common goals
  • Collaboration
  • Unprecedented volatility
  • Communication

Now, let’s take a closer look:

The Challenges

David Shillingford

“There are interdependencies everywhere. We rely on each other and our decisions impact each other, but we do not see, or we cannot see what is happening in other people’s span of control. And that of course gets even worse if something unexpected happens.”

Brian Glick

“The biggest challenge in supply chains right now is collaboration. There are so many parties involved, especially in the international freight space. And the amount of energy that we waste trying to get companies to work together who have different motivations and are working on different things, whether it is around the ports, or trucking, or rating, we run into each other all day, every day. And we are not great at working together as an industry.”

Yet, after having in-depth conversations with supply chain experts, we found that one common theme arose in how we, as an industry, can help improve supply chains – we can achieve this through collaboration. The consensus of these experts was that through working together with parties both up and down stream, we will have access to not only more data, but cleaner data. This creates greater transparency throughout the entire cycle, which in turn leads to an increase in efficiency.

Increased efficiency and a boost in productivity will undoubtedly lead to benefits for all parties involved. The obvious benefits are reduced costs and an increase in profits for the bottom line. Additionally, we have heard loud and clear that sustainability is a top priority for every organization we work with and reducing waste (while gaining efficiency) allows for organizations to make significant strides in meeting their sustainability goals.

Finally, it always comes down to improving the customer experience, and visibility through collaboration allows for every party to better meet and exceed customer expectations, whether that be a vendor relationship, B2B (Business to Business), or direct to consumer.

The Opportunities

Mary Long

“In my career in supply chain, some of the most exciting things that we have ever gotten over the finish line have been the result of collaboration, collaboration upstream with our suppliers or downstream with our customers. The customers are often the fiber of innovation.”

Samit Datta

“With extended supply chains today, it’s not just about you and your own supply chain, but it’s also your dependencies on people who you may directly or indirectly work with, and the ability to make that difference and get the overall performance to move up in this collaborative world.”

Kevin Nietzke

“I think anytime we can collaborate more, we will become more efficient, we will become more effective, we will have less impact on the climate, we will have better pricing for consumers, more profitable companies, the whole world will be a better place if we collaborate more and work more hand in hand and try to make the world a better place.”

In September, we announced the launch of Movement by project44TM, a game-changing platform that gives all supply chain partners — including shippers, carriers, logistics professionals and more — the transparency and collaboration they need to make supply chains work.

Movement empowers teams to manage exceptions, streamline shipment operations, automate manual processes, and collaborate to resolve customer issues, all from a single platform. It delivers value by providing complete order-level visibility across all modes globally, including multimodal estimates, from raw material to consumer door. It provides insights and workflow capabilities end to end — before, during and after transit. Everyone in the supply chain can use it, regardless of role, and it can deliver data to any person or system

Movement has the largest network of connected carriers, logistics service providers, shippers, technology providers and consumers in the industry and can create connections for those who are not already part of the network faster than any competitor. project44 also has the most robust dataset and the most sophisticated data science technology in the sector and provides the greatest breadth, depth, and quality of visibility available anywhere.

Ready to shore up your supply chain? Join the movement today. Learn more and get started here.