As the era of digitization expands, information is becoming more prevalent and available. With this, comes a demand for transparency. Now more than ever, organizations of all fields are being held accountable to high standards of practice by both the public eye and the government hand. And, as data becomes more accessible over the coming years, this trend will continue to increase.
One area where transparency is highly prevalent is within the supply chain industry, with the emerging concept of supply chain transparency. Supply chain transparency is the degree to which an organization knows and shares detailed information about its supply chain within the organization as well as with the public. Over the past 15 years, supply chain transparency has become increasingly necessary for organizations to establish or maintain their reputations. In the next 10 years, it will become imperative.
Facing pressure from governments, NGOs, consumers, and stakeholders, organizations must continually meet public expectations and government regulations regarding their supply chain, or risk business failure. Food companies, for example, must show that they meet certain standards regarding ingredients, animal welfare, and child labor. Failure to share this information can cost the company its consumer base or disrupt its supply chain altogether.
Daphne de Poot, senior data scientist at ORTEC, fully expects supply chain transparency to become the new normal. “There has been an upward trend on supply chain traceability and visibility,” she says. “This trend will grow stronger as more data becomes available, climate change becomes an even larger driving force, and organizations become more purpose-driven.”
Paul Schlumper, director of Safety, Health, and Environmental Services, expects that the coming years will bring greater push for transparency and standardization across safety and health regulations, including increased inspections and enforcement across the nation. Under pressure from COVID-19, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has worked collaboratively with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to present guidance on how to protect workers during this difficult and dynamic period. However, we may expect OSHA to continue to refine its regulations, requiring standard practices across all agencies, and more of them.
Despite the increase in inspections, the ability to do them virtually allows OSHA to be even more capable of protecting worker safety and health than ever before. This flexibility, unhindered by location or distance, provides more opportunities to safeguard the safety and health of working professionals.
With more transparency across all levels of the workplace, from supply chains to worker’s safety, comes a stronger sense of security in our economy. As consumers, we may rest assured that the products we purchase are up to our standards. As workers, we may look forward to better, clearer, more standard safety and health protection. For more insights into the future of work, take a look at our predictions for tech and business trends in 2030.