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Reshaping Supply Chains: How to Be Prepared to Deal with Uncertainty
Reshaping Supply Chains: How to Be Prepared to Deal with Uncertainty

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03 December 2020

Reshaping Supply Chains: How to Be Prepared to Deal with Uncertainty

The secret for good supply chains nowadays is to build resilient, fast, and agile ones adapting to any circumstance by shifting even their finished products to meet the high demand.


In the next decade, the three biggest trends that are advancing supply chains despite of any disruption are globalization, technology, and ecommerce such as Amazon. 


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To develop a “holistic digital supply chain roadmap “, these three key issues were clearly mentioned in Gartner virtual supply chain symposium (October 2020):

Reshaping Supply Chains: How to Be Prepared to Deal with Uncertainty
  • the high demand for digital transformation: in the business model to ensure customer satisfaction and experience with end to end visibility and transparency among all players despite of several barriers that stand in the way such as company culture.
  • the “bunch of Uncertainty”: both at competitor and trade levels, related to many competing startups as well as trade uncertainty (Brexit, USA-China trade war) and pandemic/natural disasters.
  • the sustainability and circular economy: this later is defined as an economic model that separates the ability to achieve linear economic growth from the consumption of natural resources. In other terms, the product lifecycle will follow the concept of make, use, return, recycle, reuse. Supply chains enabling circular economy must have strong reverse logistics capabilities. With reference to Gartner Future of Supply Chain survey 2019, 28 % of companies had already implemented circular economy while 39% are planning to do so in the next two years.

During this year, digital business strategies, trade uncertainty with security/risk management and sustainability efforts had been elaborated in different scenarios as they increasingly impact supply chain operations. So, the secret for good supply chains nowadays is to build resilient, fast, and agile ones adapting to any circumstance by shifting even their finished products to meet the high demand.

 

We cannot talk about supply chains revamping without mentioning the core module which is related to logistics and distribution channels that must become smart enough to implement end to end visibility in real-time. For example, DHL or CGI biggest service providers in transport and logistics are advancing their digital transformation to improve the collection and sharing insight in real-time about their fleet distribution and warehouses storage conditions. This will help all supply chain players to drive insight and build action on spot via collaborative decision-support platforms to improve logistics visibility leveraging internet of things, sensor networks, cybersecurity and other technologies related to big data management.

 

Welcome to the new era of smart logistics, warehouses and distribution, an important player in the resiliency of worldwide supply chains.

 

In fact, during the pandemic situation of Covid-19 and lockdowns, uncertainty is increased by shutting down global supply chains and trade routes, leading to many problems at distribution/logistics levels, affecting people, product and brand safety due to outbreaks and shortage for not saying product waste due to cross-contamination and foodborne illness. Perishing goods such as food, wine, drugs, and vaccines are temperature/humidity-sensitive so they can be toxic, inefficient, or damaged if their storage conditions are altered and modified. More recalls and incidents are collected by inspectors and consumers due to storage temperature alteration. 

 

It is all about cold chain management where nowadays vaccines are taking the highest attention. People are more concerned about product traceability, quality, and safety. It becomes vital to any company to adopt efficient and reliable cold chain solutions to monitor and manage the product life cycle from origin to end consumers throughout the whole supply chain. It will greatly enhance brand and product integrity plus performance and operational efficiency worldwide if environmental parameters are preserved for such products from manufacturers to consumers. For example, GS1 Hong Kong's RFID-based Cold Chain Solution is an effective and reliable tool to help stakeholders in the supply chain to optimize logistics management. A global traceability platform named as TRACK and RFID sensor tags embedded in logistics units, the full traceability and temperature condition can be achieved to assure product quality and safety during the whole logistics process. Any deviation from the standards will activate an alarm event through the cloud platform to take appropriate decision on spot and readjust the storage conditions. Other solutions had been implemented by DHL for fleet management system enhanced with GPS-enabled thermal and humidity sensors within the logistic units to track in real-time the fleet location and its storage temperature.

 

In short, Supply Chain Visibility in this rapidly changing global business landscape is considered an essential key ingredient to business success. By leveraging real-time information among all supply chain leaders especially the quality managers, many incidents, recalls and health issues can save people, products, and brand from serious damages.

 

Do not hesitate to reshape your supply chain accordingly!

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