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TruKKer for Business

Learnings from the Past: Supply Chain Resilience Now

Resilience In a world where disruptions are the norm, having a resilient supply chain isn’t just a luxury; it’s a strategic necessity. A resilient supply chain ensures seamless business operations, fosters customer loyalty, and sustains competitiveness by guaranteeing timely and reliable product and service deliveries. In a nutshell, supply chain resilience is the backbone of business continuity and triumph.


A Shifting Focus: The Rise of Supply Chain Resilience In recent times, the discourse around supply chain resilience has climbed the ladder of importance within C-suite discussions. A thorough investigation by IoT Analytics, a global market insights and analytics provider, delved into the priorities of over 3,000 companies. Astonishingly, merely 0.1% of CEOs were preoccupied with supply chain disruption before the pandemic. However, this narrative dramatically changed during the initial wave of COVID-19. After a brief dip, supply chain resilience regained momentum in the latter half of 2021.


Lesson 1: Embracing Supply Chain Diversification The past year delivered a crucial lesson on the indispensability of supply chain diversification. As the pandemic shook the world, factories and production facilities shuttered in China, leading to a domino effect of shortages across the globe. Many businesses were caught off-guard, frantically seeking new suppliers in the eleventh hour.


This call for diversification prompted a surge in exploring new production sites, evaluating alternative trade routes, and refining transportation systems. Notably, the Suez Canal blockage in March 2021 forced traders to reroute sea-bound cargo to air transport. Likewise, Russia’s actions towards Ukraine highlighted the previously underestimated potential of the Middle Corridor for rail freight.


The takeaway is crystal clear: a diverse and geographically dispersed supply chain acts as a buffer against disruptions. By embracing multiple transport options and suppliers, businesses can bolster their resilience. The savvy utilization of alternative trade routes and transport methods reduces dependence on specific regions, thus safeguarding operations. Moreover, engaging with a range of suppliers enhances business agility.


Lesson 2: Nurturing Robust Relationships Another paramount lesson centers on fostering robust relationships with both suppliers and service providers along the supply chain. While Lesson 1 emphasizes diversification, it doesn’t advocate severing ties with existing suppliers. Quite the contrary, existing and new relationships should be fortified on the bedrock of trust.


When the pandemic erupted, many businesses found themselves at the mercy of suppliers grappling with their own challenges. This wasn’t limited to raw materials; transportation service providers faced their own turmoil. Reliable transport partners played a pivotal role, ensuring continuity and devising inventive solutions amidst lockdowns, border closures, and congestion.


Here lies the crux of the lesson: establishing solid relationships with suppliers mitigates the impact of disruptions arising from unforeseen events. Robust relationships pave the way for collaborative problem-solving across the supply chain, guaranteeing priority attention during crises.


Lesson 3: Unveiling the Power of Supply Chain Visibility The era we inhabit champions digital tools as essential for enhancing supply chain flexibility and responsiveness. With technology like Machine Learning, IoT tracking, and cloud services maturing, embracing these tools becomes a competitive edge.


A 2022 survey by McKinsey found that over 90% of global supply chain leaders invested in digital technologies last year. Among them, those focusing on end-to-end visibility reported fewer struggles with supply chain disruptions in 2022.


Building a digital-first supply chain begins with achieving comprehensive visibility. Global supply chains, intricate by nature, involve numerous stakeholders and touchpoints, each with unique systems and processes. Mapping this landscape grants invaluable visibility, setting the stage for resilience. Early risk detection, cost control, efficiency improvement, and informed decision-making spring from such visibility.


However, remember: visibility thrives on quality data. Subpar data equals subpar insights. Hence, the importance of accurate, accessible, and timely data cannot be understated. Only with top-tier data can organizations truly comprehend their supply chain dynamics and take proactive measures to safeguard their ventures.


In sum, investing in supply chain visibility is a logical step for organizations seeking resilience. Nevertheless, the crux lies in harnessing high-quality data to underpin enduring resilience strategies.

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