RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • There are escalating demands on supply chain as a stronger global economy drives consumer spending and customer expectations are constantly changing.
  • Third party logistics services providers aren’t equipped to keep pace, resulting in a “one—two” punch—higher costs and disappointed customers.
  • Supply chain executives seek digital, asset-light logistics that serves multiple customer segments. XPL is critical to this vision.


Demands on global supply chains have never been greater.

Shippers are working hard to meet escalating customer demands. But they keep “hitting a wall," because existing delivery systems and logistics capabilities are struggling to keep up with demand. It’s clear logistics networks should evolve beyond traditional models.

What’s the way forward? Nearly eight of ten executives surveyed as part of Accenture Strategy’s Future of Supply Chain study see answers in a flexible, asset-light model that leverages ecosystem partners and digital tools to unlock new agility.

For enterprise leaders, advancing to this next phase in the logistics evolution requires an entirely new operational mindset. Tackling the inevitable hurdles along the way means you should gain comfort with more complex networks and different technology. But the payoff is there, and savvy shippers recognize that true logistics transformation is here.

Shippers suffer a one-two punch—failing to consistently meet customers’ expectations while incurring rising costs inherent in older, inefficient logistics models.

Embrace the Industry X.0 future, reel in new ecosystem partners

The XPL operational mindset enables the asset-light logistics future. XPL also dovetails with Industry X.0, our vision for the digitally reinvented business future, where enterprise leaders should identify their ideal combination of emerging technologies and ecosystem partners.

Creating the right ecosystem is only part of the battle. Shippers face additional challenges orchestrating the ecosystem in concert with suppliers and customers. Through XPL, shippers gain deep, real-time visibility into supply and demand and enhanced ability to predict trends and make fulfillment more responsive.

Shippers also acquire tools to accomplish three critical objectives:

  1. Help avoid unexpected cost increases, especially during surges in demand and periods of capacity constraints.
  2. Improve operations on an ongoing basis to strengthen cost management and enhance overall performance.
  3. Proactively plan to avoid costly disruptions to the network.

The three critical ingredients of XPL

Embracing XPL puts logistics and shipping leaders in prime position to build intelligent operations, which, for example, can help predict impact of price changes or help ensure responsive and timely delivery. Doing so requires three basic elements.

Robust enterprise data

To gain a full picture, shippers should corral all relevant data generated by connected devices and sensors across the supply chain.

Applied Intelligence

Data transformed into actionable insights driven by automation, analytics and artificial intelligence to extend human reasoning and enhance decision making.

Innovative Talent

People with core logistics expertise are essential to XPL, but you should make sure they develop new skills and learn new technology.

Build a bridge to logistics transformation

Shippers know they should transform, but it’s a daunting task that’s difficult to address while juggling the day-to-day activities that keep the business running.

Still, transformation is within reach. Through XPL, we can bridge the fixed logistics networks of the past to the more agile, responsive and digitally driven future.

By choosing an XPL services provider, shippers can gain benefits almost immediately, without having to invest the time and money to construct XPL capabilities themselves.

Read more details on how Accenture helps shipping clients transform their logistics and build an agile, flexible supply chain to serve tomorrow’s customers.

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