Post Pandemic Supply Chain Preparation


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Has your supply chain become more resilient to global risk over the past year?

APICS Greater Detroit supports supply chain professionals with the information and education they need to remain competitive in today's world.

THE COVID-19 pandemic has exposed vulnerabilities and risks in supply chains. In some cases, it has caused companies to take a hard look at their processes and their business models. In others, it has opened new opportunities for innovation, growth, and competitive advantage in the post pandemic world.

Deloitte Insights recently shared recognizing shifts in your customers, business operations and technologies, ecosystems and workforce would be a key area for supply chain leaders to focus on to prepare their organizations’ supply chain processes for thriving after the pandemic.

Deloitte suggests that four fundamental realities have shifted rapidly due to COVID-19 and each of them can have direct and indirect implications for supply chains. While the long-term effects of the pandemic are still unknown, what is clear is that the crisis seems to have helped accelerate fundamental shifts in what customers value, how customers buy, and how businesses need to operate differently to meet customer requirements and earn their trust and loyalty.

1 - Meeting evolving customer values and product and service requirements

The expectation for quick and seamless on-demand delivery will likely remain and require companies to collaborate with ecosystem partners in increasingly complex fulfillment networks. In addition, customers will want tailored and personalized experience. These expectations are likely to extend beyond business-to-consumer companies to include the business-to-business (B2B) world. The values of corporate purpose, trust, and sustainability have also become more important. Although many companies have historically shied away from commenting on societal issues or reporting sustainability goals, organizations—and their leaders—will likely be increasingly required to demonstrate progress on these topics, especially after the pandemic.

2 - Building trusted, connected Digital Supply Networks (DSN)

Traditional linear supply chains optimized for a single business or function are transforming into trusted DSNs. When done in isolation, technology investments often serve to optimize only a component of the value chain, not the whole. In the DSN model, however, functional silos are broken down both within an organization as well as outwardly to include customers and suppliers to enable end-to-end visibility, collaboration, responsiveness, agility, and optimization. In fact, as linear supply chains evolve into DSNs, the companies best positioned for growth may be those that see these networks as core to their business, technology, and operational strategies.

3 - Designing supply chains that are optimized for cost, service, and resilience

Even as business and commerce have grown ever more globalized, supply chains have generally moved in the opposite direction, growing more regionalized to meet local demand. Designing a supply chain that is both resilient and efficient while addressing increasingly complex and nuanced markets is challenging. Organizations will have to consider multiple dimensions: proximity to customer markets, diverse customer service requirements, sources of raw materials, proximity to key suppliers and ecosystem partners, availability of skilled labor, infrastructure, business disruption risk, laws and regulations, and ESG considerations—to name just a few. But the payoff can be a more resilient supply chain, better prepared to weather future disruptions.

4 - Enabling the future of work in supply chain management and operations

The workplace, workforce, and the nature of work itself will perhaps undergo some of the most dramatic changes in the wake of COVID-19. The pandemic proved to many of us that remote work is not only possible but effective. In a Deloitte June 2020 study, CEOs said that they expect a third of their workforce to be working in a full-time remote capacity by 2022, and even earlier in some cases. These trends are not just limited to traditional office work; they extend to the shop floor and throughout the supply network. In fact, many manufacturers are likely to spend more on data management capabilities aimed at facilitating remote operations and improving operational efficiency. Supply chain managers should view their operations with a critical lens, challenging the status quo of where and how work is performed, and who performs it—enabling greater benefit to the organization and its stakeholders.

The pandemic has shown that if companies want to move forward into a future where they can thrive, they will likely need to change. For additional detail on these shifts and tools for assessing your supply chain, access the complete Deloitte article here.

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