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Overwhelming number of businesses to reassess supply chain strategy following challenges of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed businesses approach to supply chain strategy, with many now looking for new ways to future-proof their supply chain operations, according to an industry survey from leading supply chain and logistics consultancy SCALA.

The survey of 43 market-leading grocery and home appliance businesses, conducted ahead of SCALA’s 2020 Annual Supply Chain Debate, has revealed that more than nine in 10 businesses (95 per cent) are looking to re-evaluate their supply chain strategies. This is in response to the experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic and possibilities of how the “new normal” may look, which includes expectations of ongoing increases in e-commerce sales. 

Supply chain resilience and agility were identified as the highest priority in future considerations, with companies aware of the need to build additional robustness into their supply chains to cope with potential future disruptions such as further pandemic disorder, political uncertainty or environmental disasters. 

Most notably, two thirds of all businesses surveyed saw a greater need to increase focus on managing their suppliers, working in closer collaboration with their suppliers and partners, as well as re-assessing the diversity of their supplier base. Better understanding and closer collaboration between suppliers and customers is seen as essential in building robust supply chains that can withstand current and future disruption.

Respondents also cited the need to re-evaluate their processes and number of stock and distribution points across their supply chains, as well as increased adoption of automation, robotics and AI, as being some of the key changes expected to support the future of their supply chain strategy. 

Commenting on the survey, John Perry, managing director at SCALA, said: “Following the challenges of COVID-19 for many businesses’ supply chains, it is clear from our research and working with our clients that future-proofing supply chains is a top priority across the grocery and home appliance sectors.

“Learning from the strategic issues raised by COVID-19, suppliers and retailers are already re-assessing their supply chain strategy to effectively prepare for the “new normal” and possible other future disruptions, whatever those might be. SCALA has a number of senior-level industry experts discussing in more detail the issues supply chains are facing at our Annual Debate at the end of June.”


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