Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

Supply Chain

The Coronovirus has brought to forefront of our imagination the need for supply chain resilience, and it is one of the burning questions businesses everywhere are asking themselves. Here, we look at some unique opportunities and challenges impacting our understanding of supply chains.

Multiple drivers of demand

Increased urbanization will result in a number of cities driving an incredible level of demand, but ceaseless congestion and space constraints will require organizations to think differently as they look to create the supply chain models of tomorrow. We have already seen Amazon go vertical with their drones and others have attempted using common carrier deliveries and flexible unloading to meet the demand patterns of tomorrow. However, these are just some of the patterns to consider when designing these supply chains.

Customized SCM solutions

Between an increasing number of consumer segments vying for attention and the emergence of new channels of distribution and sales, there will be a serious need for organizations to customize activities across their supply chain. Bespoke supply chain solutions might be the need of the hour in order to deal with different segments. This will mark a move away from today’s formulaic solutions that are typical of the industry. Powering this will be a surge in supply chain infrastructure, as planned investments in road, rail, and ports start to pay off. This will make the supply chain faster, leaner and more connected to the consumer too as there comes about a great adoption and proliferation of technology. This will help drive the growth of large scale and increasingly consolidated supply chains everywhere.

The proliferation of technology

The proliferation of technology and an increased adoption of Big Data will see technology costs decrease. This will make available a larger amount of data for supply chains to leverage, and it is thus essential for organizations to build the capabilities needed to meaningfully analyze this data and reap the benefits of it.

Business as usual, but different

While there will be some changes to the landscape by the time 2025 comes around, some things will remain just the same. Volatility in supply and demand will continue, so taking measures to mitigate risk is essential. Businesses will also always want to do more with less, continuing to put serious pressure on the supply chain function to be efficient while keeping in minds the unique needs of the business.

Skills remain essential

There will also continue to be gaps in skill management and thus one might see an element of automation enter the business in addition to a renewed focus on skill development. Preparing for the future will require organizations to embed scenario-based planning and budgeting for small investments to pilot and learn new capabilities.

Borderless supply chains

Even in the future, the key to success for businesses will continue to be ensuring the delivery of its product to the right customer at the right place at the right price, every time. A quality supply chain addresses this challenge, but an even bigger challenge is that in the entire SCM process the power is shifting to the customer and we have to live it. Today the consumer is more connected, so if one consumer experience is bad the results can be disastrous. So businesses will have to carefully navigate the complexities of consumer management.


Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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