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Blue Ridge to Release 2022 State of the Supply Chain Industry Research Report

Cross-industry peer-to-peer report reveals in-depth insights on post-pandemic supply chain challenges and commitments to tech-driven strategies

Blue Ridge, the integrated and intelligent supply chain management platform, will release its fourth State of the Industry Report offering an in-depth analysis of the post-pandemic challenges that supply chain industry leaders face today at the annual BLUEPRINT Community Conference. The report, based on hundreds of peer-to-peer survey responses from distributor/wholesaler, manufacturing and retail leaders, revealed consistent challenges with optimizing supplier networks, controlling costs, forecasting accurately, managing inventory levels and the ongoing effort to find optimal solutions and integrate technology to address these challenges.

According to the report, wholesale suppliers continue to hold more inventory in an effort to meet complex consumer demands, while long lead times plus capacity and transportation constraints have brought strife and uncertainty to the industry. Widespread adoption of advanced analytics and AI-based supply chain technologies have reduced manual work and cut spending, but companies have yet to fully optimize the solutions within their infrastructure.

Despite ongoing obstacles, the report shows a positive industry outlook as companies posted year-over-year sales growth of 13.02% in 2022, up from 8.09% in 2020 and 8.30% in 2019.

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“Coming out of a challenging year with continued economic and consumer volatility, our 2022 State of the Industry Report will show that suppliers are still facing supply, transportation, capacity and consumer demand-based complexities”

Other key findings from the report include:

  • All industries cite difficulty in fulfilling customer demands, with a 25% increase in respondents reporting missing service levels more than 4% of the year. Supplier collaboration needs are up almost 8% from 36.3% in 2020 to 44.23% in 2022, which highlights the value of sharing data in planning.
  • Of all survey participants, 89.91% observed rising costs on the front-end when purchasing goods to sell to consumers, up significantly from 2020’s 54.73% and 2019’s 63.49%.

“Coming out of a challenging year with continued economic and consumer volatility, our 2022 State of the Industry Report will show that suppliers are still facing supply, transportation, capacity and consumer demand-based complexities,” said Dawn Russell, Chief Customer Officer at Blue Ridge. “As a whole, it’s clear the industry is trending towards tech-first strategies and increasingly adopting ML-based tools for forecast reconciliation, supplier collaboration, pricing insights and scenario planning. At Blue Ridge, we are committed to helping brands continue to build this positive momentum and find the right use cases to optimize their tech investments.”

Blue Ridge originally launched its wholesale survey in February 2018, asking wholesalers, distributors, and SmartBrief readers about key initiatives for forecast management and supply chain planning operations. The report results continue to convey the growing need for the industry to utilize advanced technologies to maximize gains.

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