We blinked and 2017 is nearly over. We love a good wrap-up here at the All Things Supply Chain blog, as you know from our weekly uploads of the supply chain news wrap-up. So, as the last post of this year it seemed like a great idea to look back at the last twelve months to identify the most popular trends and topics in the supply chain industry, recognize our highlights and reflect on the year.
It is somewhat of a tradition to reflect on our blog activity using statistics concerning the most read articles of that specific year. However, as interesting as it is, I decided to reflect on 2017 by going off the beaten path and drawing attention to a few of our achievements and progressions, as well as topics that have had a frequent occurrence on the blog due to the trends of 2017.
Highlights of 2017
This year we celebrated 5 years of blogging and with that, it’s a great time to look back over the years and see how far the blog has come. A little history of the blog: we used to be called the Inventory and Supply Chain Optimization blog. But earlier this year, in February, as a lot of you already know, the blog went through some changes; a new name and a wonderful makeover, with a lot more features making it easier for you to navigate around sections of the blog and share the articles on your social media channels.
Another big accomplishment for us in 2017 was being recognized in the Top 75 Supply Chain Blogs, providing us with the honor of displaying a badge award on the homepage. This year, we also achieved our goal of hitting 50,000 page views. This acknowledges all of our constant hard work and support over the last 5 years and motivates us to keep putting out fresh and relevant supply chain and logistics content.
The ATSC blog publishes a wide variety of content, but this year, from looking at the titles of articles written in 2017, reoccurring topics have included sustainability, retail, warehousing and blockchain. Similar to previous years, corporate social responsibility (CSR) in supply chains has been a trending topic with big companies announcing their improved or latest objectives to make their supply chain operations more sustainable, improve their carbon footprint and support local communities. As sustainability is a slow development, this trend is likely to continue into the New Year with companies turning to technology to help reach their goals.
In terms of warehousing, addressing the issue of needing more distribution centers but having a labor shortage in this area has made warehouse robotics a theme in 2017. Some headway has been made on this, but more developments are needed.
The retail supply chain also had some significance this year with more and more retailers reinventing customers’ shopping experience through new technologies such as augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence and some automated shops. This year also saw pure online retailers venture into brick and mortar stores, combining both platforms and closing the gap between online and offline to create an omnichannel experience. Omnichannel should be a trend to watch in 2018 with more retailers adopting this approach, or going out of business if they fail to do so.
Here are some examples of the aforementioned topics we covered:
- How Can IoT Help Make Supply Chains More Sustainable?
- The Rise of On-Demand Warehousing
- Shoptalk Europe 2017: Retail and E-Commerce Trends That Move the Industry
Looking to the New Year
This year has been filled with fantastic blogging, and we have a lot of great blogs in the pipeline for next year. However, I think next year we should further expand a few of our blog series as not many articles have been published under the Wrong vs. Right, the Amazing Supply Chain or Transparent Tuesday categories this year, and supply chain transparency is still a hot topic.
Another interesting topic we are certain to hear more about in 2018 is automation in logistics considering there is a shortage of drivers. Blockchain has still been a prominent factor and will continue to be a trend next year, along with other emerging digital technologies, as they are still evolving and are potentially still years away from mass adoption.
To wrap-up this article, everyone here at the All Things Supply Chain Blog would like to firstly take the opportunity to thank all of our readers, bloggers and social media followers for your constant support, interactions and content. We also want to wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a flourishing 2018. We will be kick starting the New Year with an original blog post on January 2 and the weekly wrap-up on January 5.
What were some of your highlights in 2017? What were some of the trends you observed in the supply chain industry?
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