Agile and responsive: DHL outlines manufacturing supply chains of the future

DHL whitepaper identifies trends and implications for Engineering & Manufacturing sector

The Engineering and Manufacturing (E&M) sector is changing to cope with tomorrow's trends and market conditions, with supply chain management being a key enabler for successful future business models. This is one of the central results of a new whitepaper published by DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation, looking at the industry sector in 2025 and beyond.

Accounting for approximately 17 percent of GDP and 14 percent of employment globally, the manufacturing sector is the engine of global trade - 70 percent of the entire global trade volume stems from manufacturing companies. Against this background, the authors of the report highlight that supply chain concepts need to be regionalized, interconnected, more resilient and sustainable as well as more agile to comply with trends such as shifting markets, customization or increased compliance.

The report "Building the World - A DHL Perspective on Future Engineering & Manufacturing Supply Chains" outlines six influential trends from worlds of economy, environment, politics, society and technology and their implications. Based on these key findings, it derives the sector's respective responses and the five implications for future supply chains. "Generally speaking, we expect that supply chain managers will have to deal with even higher complexity in the future", explains Reg Kenney, President Engineering & Manufacturing, DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation. "Customers will expect a broader, more customized product portfolio. In combination with shifting growth markets, thus more suppliers, a lack of qualified workforce and new technologies, this will have companies rethink their current supply chain models."

Regionalized supply chains require greater resilience

Since business and end consumers' expectations changed, E&M companies have begun to restructure their production processes and adapt their business models to become more customer-centric and competitive. In the future, this will also include intelligent and sustainable manufacturing and new collaboration models along the value chain. As emerging countries are prospering and companies shift their production closer to these markets, supply chains have to be adapted. A global network of more regionalized supply chains is required to speed up delivery and respond immediately to changes in customer demand. However, this will also challenge supply chain managers to comply with an increasing number of country-specific regulations and guidelines.

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Source: Deutsche Post DHL

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