Recognizing and mastering future trends: thought-provoking impulse for the logistics sector
Containers and the Internet: two obvious innovations that have significantly changed logistics in the last few decades. They linked the world together, allowing for new, larger markets and an enormous growth in global trade. They made the world smaller but the opportunities for business became greater – but only for the companies that recognized the potential offered by the innovations in time and learned how to play the “keyboard” of the new age.
Knowing and recognizing significant innovations
That’s why it’s important to know today what will be state-of-the-art tomorrow. The only thing is – what will the innovations of the future be? In hindsight, significant innovations always seem to have come along as a logical progression of previous developments – they seem revolutionary, with a clear boundary between before and after. But this clarity is also there when looking back.
If we were to ask ourselves which innovations will have the same impact between now and 2030, it is quite difficult to answer the question. These “disruptive innovations,” as they are known, bring with them new functions and applications and change the rules of the market. To begin with, however, they are often underestimated and remain under the radar. If they are even perceived, their influence on the masses is still so insignificant that they are not yet a reason to rework functioning business models. Once the full force of the change is felt, however, it may be too late. That is why it is important not to miss the right time to introduce an innovation.
Current developments in the logistics sector
The prerequisite to achieving this is knowing the trends that dominate one’s own market. The Fraunhofer Center for Applied Research on Supply Chain Services SCS has spent 20 years observing the developments in logistics and is able to derive significant tendencies. We are currently focusing our research on eight megatrends that we think have the potential to change logistics significantly over the years to come.
Mastering trends – seizing chances
These megatrends will change in the future, will be complemented by new ones, or will become more or less important to the logistics sector. For this reason, they need to be checked regularly. On the whole, however, they are closely aligned to each other and are not to be considered in isolation.
Companies that wish to operate successful supply chain management in the future by defining new products, processes, and business models must take knowledge of the continuous change to and linking of trends into account. Only then will they be able to master the future.