Sustainability tools, including a focus on circular production and limiting environmental impacts, is among the top technology focuses of supply chain managers this year, according to a new survey from Gartner.
Sustainability technology includes a progressing range of platforms, services, and capabilities, according to Gartner. They help organizations stay on top of impacts throughout their operations, including being more efficient and keeping up with regulations.
Technology can include increased levels of digitalization, automation, and collaboration that can help companies set sustainability targets and manage their supply chains. Gartner says supply chain managers who don’t invest in tools that support sustainability goals and metrics risk impacts on brand and product perception.
That can also lead to impacts such as carbon taxes, and climate-related supply chain disruptions, which could ultimately influence shareholder value, Gartner says.
Other technology tools the survey revealed as important to supply chain management include automation, digital supply chain twins, and increased analytics. Of the managers who responded to the survey, 34% say adapting to new technology is the most important topic supply chain organizations will face five years from now.
As industries are increasingly focusing on ways to ingrain sustainability initiatives throughout their operations, these technologies can be key to reaching targets. For example, there is a push in manufacturing to increase carbon visibility throughout supply chains.
Tools like Sphera’s enhanced lifecycle assessment automation software can help companies track Scope 3 emissions. According to Sphera, that can especially be key in sectors with complex supply chains.
Supply chain analytics provider Owl Solutions is building a packaging module within its platform that will help companies track and measure plastic packaging waste throughout their operations. Tracking software, like a platform from Sourcemap, can also help companies with information on material sourcing; traceability systems are also growing as important supply chain devices.
Tools such as automation and increased analytics can help supply chains increase efficiencies and limit risks such as disruptions, according to the Gartner survey. They can also help with reporting and transparency of an operation.
Gartner says half of supply chain organizations will invest in artificial intelligence and advanced analytics by 2024.
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