2023 Supply Chain Outlook : Expert Advice on Thriving in Times of Change – Appian

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In the wake of unprecedented disruptions, supply chains have emerged as a critical focal point for businesses worldwide. The challenges posed by events like the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted the need for agile and adaptable supply chain strategies. To navigate this new landscape, companies must learn from past experiences, anticipate future disruptions, and transform their supply chain management approaches. In this article, Appian explores key insights from industry experts on how to adapt and thrive in the ever-evolving world of supply chains.

Building resilience means bouncing back fast

Deepak Mavatoor, a Tata Consultancy Services expert, shares his insights on the state of supply chains and the key factors that determine successful adaptation. He emphasizes that the traditional notion of resilient and robust supply chains is a myth, as they have become brittle due to increasing complexity. Companies must focus on scenario planning, running various “what if” scenarios to anticipate disruptions and shift their culture to be more scenario-planning-oriented. Automation plays a crucial role in data collection, refinement, and providing intelligence to support human decision-making. However, Mavatoor emphasizes the importance of trust and human relationships in the industry, highlighting the need for collaboration beyond technology. Despite ongoing challenges, he remains hopeful as technology continues to evolve, enabling better handling of the increasing complexity in supply chains.

Adapting to continued supply chain disruptions

Peter Liddell, a KPMG expert, discusses the major disruptors that have impacted supply chains in the past two years. The pandemic, geopolitical challenges like the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and global supply and demand imbalances have reshaped supply chain flows and caused disruptions. Liddell predicts that continuous disruptions and a second wave of supply chain risks will persist in the near future. Companies that adapted well had safety stock or inventory stockpiles and focused on right-sizing their supply chains. Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations have gained importance due to consumer expectations and investor demands. Manufacturing footprint considerations and workforce development are key areas that require more attention in supply chain discussions.

Developing agility in times of change

Joaquim Duarte Oliveira, a Deloitte expert, discusses the challenges and adaptations in supply chain management. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed vulnerabilities, and as the world faces inflationary pressures and geopolitical uncertainties, companies must focus on making their supply chains more resilient and agile. Building capabilities in demand sensing, collaborative relationships, process integration, and information integration is crucial for adapting to supply chain issues. Technology such as AI, machine learning, IoT, and cloud computing plays a pivotal role in managing supply chain challenges, enabling scenario planning, real-time visibility, and synchronized planning. Talent acquisition and retention, particularly for individuals with strategic thinking and technological skills, remain essential considerations for successful supply chain management.

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