From a 200,000-ton cargo ship grounded in the Suez Canal, ports paralyzed by a cyber attack, to the cold chain’s capacity to deliver vaccines in low-income countries, supply chains can tumble like a pack of cards.
A landmark survey explored the biggest disruptions to supply chains. What caused them, and what can organizations do to build their resilience and guard against future shocks?
From a survey of 400 senior supply chain executives, top-level findings included:
Actions to mitigate future disruptions include strengthening supplier relationships, installing risk management teams, implementing new processes, and technology investment.
Undeniably, the intensity and frequency of supply chain disruptions are of growing concern, but they also present an opportunity to rebuild stronger and more sustainable than before. Against a backdrop of trade disruptions, geopolitical tensions, climate change, and environmental catastrophes, the case for change in the supply chain sector is compelling.
Supply chain professionals can create use cases that call for new investment and demonstrate ROI. They can reimagine how things are done. For those willing to go fearlessly forward, there is potential to create lasting, global change – an exciting opportunity!
Resilience across the entire chain is vital; you are only as strong as your weakest link. So, what actions should you take?
Flexibility is a core factor of successful business models. We can go beyond the obvious and look to other industries for inspiration – from distilleries making hand sanitizer to the automotive industry switching from vehicles to ventilators.
How this translates in your supply chain is limited only by your imagination.
Customer requirements are changing on an ongoing basis, and whole-supply-chain digitalization can power the services they now demand. Fundamentally, the new normal needs a new business model.
Harmonization can take many forms and apply to many areas: across IT platforms, manufacturing plants, storage warehouses, and distribution centers. Harmonization brings greater visibility and operational efficiency, enabling greater resilience.
Product harmonization is another opportunity to increase reliance. For example, the use of standard vehicle parts in the automotive industry simplifies sourcing.
Rapid advancements in supply chain technologies for different industries can make your harmonization ambitions a reality, creating more opportunities to design resilience into your operations and processes.
The reality is that even the most resilient supply chain will falter or seize at some point and for any number of reasons. It’s critical to create a posture that enables flexibility and monitors and mitigates risk.
The mantra for your disaster recovery and business continuity planning is test, test, and test again. When an unforeseen event occurs, it’s vital that your plans are well-rehearsed, fine-tuned for all possible eventualities, and understood by all.