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Capgemini Press Release // Building Supply Chain Resilience Is A Priority For Two-Thirds Of Organizations After COVID-19 Disruption

77% of organizations recognize the need for change and are accelerating investments in supply chain sustainability over the next three years

More than 80% of organizations have reported their supply chains being negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, with a vast majority struggling across all aspects of their operations. This is according to new research from the Capgemini Research Institute, “Fast forward: Rethinking supply chain resilience for a post-COVID-19 world.” The pandemic has forced organizations to prioritize supply chain resilience, with two-thirds (66%) stating that their supply chain strategy will need to change significantly in order to adapt to the new normal. Only 14% of organizations are expecting a return to business-as-usual.

There is growing awareness that supply chains need to be more flexible and agile so they can react and adapt quickly to potential disruption. In fact, 68% of organizations said the current crisis has forced them to adapt their business models, while increasing supply chain resilience post COVID-19 is cited as a priority for 62%.

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Over the past year organizations have struggled to quickly respond to increasing disruptions and restore their operations to a steady, reliable state. Organizations surveyed across retail, consumer products, discrete manufacturing and life sciences reported multiple challenges across their supply chains. The majority have found challenges across all aspects of their operations, including shortages of critical parts/materials (74%), delayed shipments and longer lead times (74%), difficulties in adjusting production capacity in response to fluctuating demand (69%), and difficulties planning amid volatile levels of customer demand (68%).

The obstacles presented by the pandemic, however, also provide an opportunity for organizations to build a more resilient, flexible and agile supply chain that is ready to withstand future disruption and global crises.

Few organizations have the capability to withstand another crisis

As many as 55% of organizations have taken between three to six months to recover from supply chain disruptions this year, while another 13% expect to take six to twelve months to do so. Inevitably, this means few organizations are prepared for any further potential disruption that may lie ahead.

Capgemini’s research finds that to cope with a similar crisis in the future, businesses must focus on seven key capabilities for crisis-resilience; identifying the areas that need the most significant, and urgent, improvement is critical for building a resilient supply chain. Only a minority (less than 4%) demonstrate strengths across all of these areas, covering both planned actions and the current state of organizational preparedness.

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Capgemini’s report explains that a resilient supply chain is one that has:

  • Contingency planning: anticipating crises and running simulations to improve crisis response
  • Localization: prioritizing localization as well as regionalization of supplier base and manufacturing footprint
  • Diversification: prioritizing diversification of supplier base, manufacturing and transportation options
  • Sustainability: prioritizing sustainability across the supply chain to withstand environmental and regulatory disruptions and meet evolving customer expectations
  • Agility: prioritizing flexibility in production and decision making, and displaying agility in shifting to new business models
  • End-to-end cost transparency: accounting for costs with a clear picture of risks associated with low-cost strategies
  • Visibility: emphasizing on data-sharing with partners and having full visibility of the supply network

A significant proportion of organizations are taking the necessary measures to build capabilities around the first three dimensions, with 84% citing improving crisis-preparedness as a priority post-COVID. In addition, 65% of organizations are actively investing in localizing or regionalizing their supplier and manufacturing base to reduce risk and be closer to their customers.

As many as 65% of organizations are actively investing in localizing or regionalizing their supplier and manufacturing base in order to reduce risk and to be closer to their customers Diversifying the supply chain is also front of mind; 68% of businesses are investing in diversifying their supplier base and 62% in diversifying their manufacturing base.

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