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Supply Chain » 2021 Will Give Way to Big Changes in Supply Chain Practices 

2021 Will Give Way to Big Changes in Supply Chain Practices 



di Vishal Patel

The onset of the coronavirus epidemic has accelerated the supply chain digital transformation that has languished on businesses’ “to-do” list for years. It would be hard to overstate the impact of Covid-19 on organizations of practically every type.  Industries that were prospering until last year are in bankruptcy now.  Customer demand for a wide range of consumer goods has abruptly shifted.  Countless public institutions and nonprofit organizations which had been viable until the beginning of this year, are now staring into canyons of debt and implementing draconian cuts.  Chaos from the coronavirus has made clear that procurement & supply chain practices need to get smarter. Covid-19 has exposed barriers to collaboration that most companies tolerate under normal circumstances. Supply chains have been badly disrupted.  And yet the worst of the pandemic may still lie ahead.  

Even so, the experience of the past eight months has driven home some important lessons about procurement – both strengths and weaknesses – that are likely to apply well past the time that the virus itself finally subsides.  In many instances what Covid has done has been to highlight challenges which existed all along, but they were issues that many regarded as tolerable.  However, as a result of the pandemic, the need for addressing them has intensified. 

One of the most important issues the pandemic exposed has been that most manufacturers have only a limited view into any of their suppliers beyond Tier One.  Most have little understanding of who is supplying their suppliers or those suppliers’ suppliers.  As a result, they can be caught off balance, unable to promptly address the ripple effects that problems further down the supply chain can have on their own operations.  

Below are some lessons in which the supply chain industry has learned and will need to put into practice as we embark on the new year.

This recent crisis underscores the need for organizations to establish and maintain effective proactive risk management programs for their supply chain.  While it is impossible for organizations to anticipate these types of outbreaks, an effective risk management program, complete with processes, tools, and data can lessen the impact and the time it takes an organization to recover.   Supply chains are showcasing singular resourcefulness and adaptability, though the challenges are far from over. But the outcome may be fundamental changes and a whole host of managers and regulators who find it second-nature to rethink global models and supply dependencies.

Vishal Patel

VP Product Marketing

Vishal has spent the last 1​5​ years in various roles within the Procurement and Supply Chain technology market.  As an industry analyst, he researched and advised organizations in various industries​ on best ​and innovative practices, digitization and optimization.  He brings a thorough understanding of market trends and digital​ technologies that can help enterprises be more effective ​with their Procurement and Supply Chain strategies.  He works to ensure that ​organizations are empowered with technology platforms that enable flexibility, innovation, and agility. ​

You can connect with Vishal on Linkedin

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