Every day, consumers and businesses alike rely on dozens of pieces of tech to solve their problems, from increasing efficiency to beating boredom. But behind every iPhone, camera, and computer is a vast and complex technology supply chain that’s growing increasingly challenging to manage. As tech becomes even more integral to daily life, supply chain managers must prepare for even more complexity on the horizon—because the industry shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
In order to keep pace, it’s important to recognize the current state of the market and what’s on the horizon. Here are some of the biggest supply chain challenges facing the technology sector today—and some steps shippers can take to combat them.
Increasingly short product lifecycles
Once upon a time, companies would release a major new piece of technology every few years. Product lifecycles have decreased significantly over the past decade, shrinking from years to mere months in some cases as companies fight to beat out competitors and deliver better, faster solutions than have come before.
This puts a lot of pressure on supply chain managers, since slow speed to market can damage client expectations. It’s essential for managers to be prepared for imminent product releases by putting a solid logistics plan in place—including having a stable of reliable carriers ready to go and utilizing the right tools to manage and execute shipments to avoid unnecessary delays.
Unpredictable spikes in demand
Depending on the type of technology a company specializes in, some demand can be fairly predictable. Consumer goods are likely to have a boom around the holidays; coveted new gadgets fly off the shelves when they’re first released.
But not all demand is so easy to prepare for. In 2020, due to the sudden need for countless professionals to shift to working from home, stores all around the world unexpectedly sold out of laptops, webcams, and other IT hardware. And while some products are almost guaranteed to sell, others can unexpectedly take off, turning the market on its head and leaving shippers scrambling to meet demand.
Improving forecasting can go a long way toward helping technology supply chain managers prepare for seemingly sudden spikes. Often, with enough historical data at your fingertips, it’s possible to pinpoint ebbs and flows that might otherwise have gone unnoticed and plan accordingly. And when surges in demand do come out of nowhere, having a robust transportation management system (TMS) like CTSI-Global’s Honeybee TMS™ makes it much easier to access carrier capacity and get goods out the door in no time.
Intense pressure to reduce costs
Few industries are as relentlessly cost-driven as the technology sector. With so many competitors nipping at their heels, companies must shave costs wherever possible to differentiate their products in the marketplace while keeping margins strong.
The supply chain can be a rich source of potential savings. Whether it’s using a TMS to optimize shipments so that premium freight or more expensive carriers aren’t being used arbitrarily, auditing freight bills on an ongoing basis to reduce and recover costs, or digging into supply chain data to identify unnecessary recurring expenses before they get out of hand, technology supply chain managers can lean on logistics tech to ensure their operations run lean.
A well-oiled technology supply chain demands cutting-edge logistics tech
The tech industry moves fast. But with the right logistics technology, managers can ensure that their supply chains are well-equipped to keep pace.
At CTSI-Global, we know a thing or two about technology. We developed our own proprietary transportation management system, Honeybee TMS™, and we pride ourselves on keeping our logistics solutions cutting-edge. We’re here to help technology supply chain managers overcome their greatest challenges—boosting productivity, cutting costs, and taking every disruption in their stride.
Stop sprinting to keep up. Stay one step ahead of the curve—contact us today.