There’s only one word to describe today’s state of supply chains across the globe. Unstable. The economic turmoil caused by the pandemic and subsequent disruptions has exposed vulnerabilities in supply chains and left many questioning what supply chains of the future will look like. In short, supply chains as we know them will never be the same.
As companies take a fresh look at their supply chains and what they plan to do next, it might be just as important, if not more important, to think about what they must transform. Here are four areas in which supply chains must reinvent themselves to successfully meet the challenges of tomorrow:
Focus on Human-Centric Work Design. Technological advances had enabled remote work, but the pandemic demanded that enterprises embrace it at a larger scale. Additionally, global labor shortages that emerged in 2018 were accelerated by the pandemic, creating intense talent competition. Addressing this new employee value proposition requires a human-centric design that prioritizes:
1. Flexible work experiences to promote equality of opportunities.
2. Intentional collaboration to enable innovation.
3. Performance by outcome.
Stop Making “No Decision-Decisions”. Making the wrong decision can often be better than not making any decision at all. If something is done – a decision is made – that action propels you forward. If that decision is wrong, then you fail fast, learn, correct, and move forward.To overcome this, manufacturers need to have the right tools that provide the right data needed at the right time. Having the right data on hand helps any decision making that needs to be made.
Start Building a Multi-Source Supply Chain. When supply chains are disrupted, those who single source, in particular, suffer the most. You are left vulnerable when you depend on a single supplier somewhere deep in your network for a crucial component or material. If that supplier produces the item in only one plant or one country, your disruption risks are even higher. When supply chain diversification is embraced the benefits are substantial. For example, supply chain diversification enables flexibility, which allows you to respond quickly to changing market trends and consumer. Diversifying the supply chain also ensures you will meet demand in case of supply shortage. And diversifying your supply chain based on location will also reap many benefits for manufacturers.
We see the upcoming years as a time in which the supply chain dares to reinvent itself with purpose. The time is now to think big, make bold moves and drive real impact through these shifts. In preparation for an even more demanding and disruptive future, supply chains will need to be characterized by both resilience and responsibility and in order to do so, changes will need to be made.
If you’re interested in reinventing your supply chain, join our network of hundreds of suppliers and buyers ready to make the shift.