Over time, the supply chain has experienced significant growth and continuous improvement.

Have you ever pondered the trajectory of the supply chain, especially given the rapid pace of change and innovation in today’s world?

What challenges might lie ahead for the industry in the next five years?

Join us for an insightful discussion with Maria Villablanca as we delve into the anticipated challenges facing the supply chain in the coming years.



What are some of the big challenges coming up over the next five years in the supply chain? An expert is here with me to discuss that – Maria Villablanca!

Like myself she spent most of her life, I think, in supply chain. She spent a lot of time with thought leaders and runs a podcast interviewing people right across the supply chain.

What are some of the big challenges coming up? What do you see in the next five years or so? I guess we only have to turn on the news, but what do you think? 


Maria: People are talking about supply chain all over the place. So geopolitical risk is probably the biggest one.  It means that if there’s a war in the Middle East, ships can’t get through the Suez Canal. They have to go down through a different route. So that’s going to add more time, more cost to the supply chain.

The second one is regulation and regulatory compliance. There’s been talk for a long time about the different types of carbon capture, carbon emissions goals and so on. So there’s so many different types of regulations that are coming into place. They’re going to mean that supply chains are going to be under the magnifying glass of governments to be more transparent. Now, what does that mean? It means that they’re going to have to delve deeper within their supply chains to understand their suppliers and their supplier suppliers and see where the risks are there from a sustainability perspective.

The next one is generative AI. It’s reality! It’s going to happen and it’s gonna happen faster than we know because if you think about ChatGPT it’s less than what’s a year old and it’s already dominating a lot of different types of positions within different industries. So the use of generative AI is going to be very interesting and see how that rolls out.  

I’d say the biggest, maybe non-obvious thing, and the biggest risk or trend for the supply chain in the next five years is people. By that I mean, how we adapt to all of this changing environment, how we adapt to technology, how we manage with that, how we manage decision-making, how we manage leadership challenges, how we manage changes in consumer behavior. So to me, really the biggest quantum that’s unknown is the whole people element of the new supply chain. 


Rob: Interesting! It’s very difficult to get people into the industry. People don’t wanna work in warehouses so much. So I suppose on the one hand, you know, we can say that AI technology and so on is going to take over some of these roles.


Maria: You’re right! Not many people want to take on a lot of those jobs, and they may not have to because AI will come into place. I think also it’s important to note that we will still need people to make decisions to get the best use of it. It’s not about working AI replacing humans, it’s about working AI working with humans, augmenting humans. 


Rob: It’s interesting how technology has advanced so rapidly.


Watch the full video to deeply understand this topic and don’t miss out on how the things mentioned above can affect the supply chain.


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Rob O’Byrne
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