What Do Post-COVID Supply Chains Look Like?

Brink AsiaAcross the world, companies have been celebrating the return of more normal activity, more reliable supply chains and a boost from renewed consumer confidence. And that’s where they are going wrong.

A year ago, I described how the pandemic was changing supply chains in unexpected ways, and if a business’s supply chains have remained the same as they were before the pandemic, then it is going to have problems. Retail is just one immediate example. Post-lockdown sales might be sharply up, but profits remain down because the cost to serve is so much higher for online sales and delivery models. Businesses in all sectors need to move forward to a new normal for supply chains. Perhaps it can be a “new better.”

 

2021 0718 Supply chain 1028 03

Photo: plus49/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images

Container ships from China passing at Blankenese on the Elbe, Germany. In the short to medium term, the impact of COVID-19 is not going away, meaning sharp rises in shipping and air freight costs.

 

Cost to Serve Is Higher

 

A year on from the first waves of shocks, global supply chains are working in a fast and furious fashion. Working, but volatile — subject to local uncertainties and the potential for a difficult accumulation of disruption.

In the short to medium term, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is not going away, which means a changing picture of lockdowns and restrictions in different parts of the globe. Overall, that has meant sharp rises in shipping and air freight costs. And, in general, lead times for supply chains have needed to be extended.

The knock-on effect of this has been a need for more containers, more containers not moving and capacity being fully taken up — so, containers end up in the wrong places around the global supply chains system. It’s like supermarket trolleys. If processes to take trolleys back to the front of the store aren’t working, then they’re going to end up scattered all around the extremities of the car park.

 

Bottled Up Consumer Spending

 

Supply chain disruptions and shortages are continuing to happen because of the dramatic upturn in economies, a release of bottled-up consumer spending.

The microchip shortages in some sectors are also being exacerbated by parallel interactions, where there is increased competition from across different sectors competing for supplies, especially with the accelerated shift to computerization and autonomous systems in everything from the workplace to transport systems.

A question mark also remains over whether the surge in demand for products is real or just a bubble of stockpiling as businesses fill their stock rooms to pre-empt recovery. The danger is that customer demand doesn’t or won’t exist on the same scale and we enter a boom-and-bust cycle.

The pandemic crisis of 2020-21 has brought permanent, structural changes to supply chains. There is no return to 2019, and businesses need to take on board the lessons of the past 18 months and find the best blend of old and new.

 

Cost and value will always be fundamental, but resilience has to be the priority for protecting company survival for the longer-term.

 

Shorter, More Localized Supply Chains

 

We have seen how those supply chain managers with the strongest network of relationships have coped better. Businesses tend to focus effectively on the basic management of inventories, KPIs, information systems and people — but appear to think relationships happen by accident. Collaboration and proactively managed relationships are the key to future resilience.

Businesses have seen the need for shorter, more localized supply chains. Supplies of some high-demand raw materials, like cobalt and lithium, can only come from specific regions — nothing can change that situation — but there can be more near-shoring and on-shoring. There is also the need for multi-shoring, not basic multi-sourcing, which caught out some operations during lockdown that had arranged multiple different supply sources in the same region, all affected by COVID-19 transport restrictions.

The crisis has demonstrated the need for transparency: continuous monitoring and intelligence, real-time information across networks in order to anticipate and understand the impact of volatility and better deal with the complexity involved. Events like the blockage of the Suez Canal earlier this year had a heightened impact because it was a case of disruption on disruption.

 

The Need for a Strong Culture

 

A strong culture has been critical for ensuring there’s the necessary agility and flexibility in a supply chain operation. By ‘culture’ I mean what happens when people are left without instruction and under pressure? What do they do? Can they work together to find solutions?

 

People have been shown to be the most vulnerable element in an organization, adding to the momentum toward Robot Process Automation. This could both increase resilience within operations (not having to rely on the presence and movements of human employees) but also take the repetition out of human work roles.

There needs to be a working trade-off between property assets, information systems and HR. Organizations may no longer need physical offices to the same extent as a result of automation and remote working, but they need to invest into more than just new information systems. There has to be renewed attention and investment into HR and the management and leadership of dispersed workforces, all the processes that need to be re-engineered for a virtual world of work. The growing reliance on digitization and connectivity also means a new intensity of focus on cybersecurity.

 

A ‘New Better’?

 

What companies and consumers value has changed. Lockdowns have moved a much larger proportion of the consumer population — including older demographics — over to the ease of online shopping. In other words, people have got used to shopping differently, and that means that whole supply chain processes, networks, information systems and organizations have to change.

Ultimately the lesson has been the need to procure for resilience and not solely cost. Cost and value will always be fundamental, but resilience has to be the priority for protecting company survival for the longer-term.

A new better for supply chains will bring some major changes for wider societies.

There will be benefits from more automation, digital systems and on-shoring, including higher quality jobs, the potential for more diversity in the workforce, a reduced transport footprint for the environment and less plastic waste. But at the same time, there will be challenges, including the need for new business models to ensure viability and maintaining the engagement and motivation of supply chain workers. The biggest barrier, though, will be complacency around the “return to normal.”

Related themes: CYBERSECURITY SUPPLY CHAINS TRADE

 

 

2021 0718 Supply chain 1900 04Richard Wilding
Professor of Supply Chain Strategy at Cranfield School of Management@SupplyChainProf
Richard Wilding OBE is the professor of supply chain strategy at Cranfield School of Management. He is also the chair of the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport (UK), and recognised as one of the world’s leading experts in logistics and supply chain management.

Coronavirus Is Changing Global Supply Chains in Unexpected Ways

 

The original articles were be read in the Brink’s website HERE.

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Residents in the Sydney area were warned of catastrophic fire danger as Australia prepared for a fresh wave of deadly bushfires that have ravaged the drought-stricken east of the country. The 2020 Global Risks Report outlines the intensifying confrontations and deepening long-term threats that 2020 will encounter.   Photo: Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images   […]

Global challenges to prepare for in 2020

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images Photo: A cargo ship prepares to dock at PortMiami as the United States and China continue their trade war. The new face of trade will be something to keep a close eye on in the new year. 2019 has been a whirlwind of upheaval and change around the world. The Altamar […]

Renewable Energy tops citizens’ demands for new infrastructure

The need to address climate change emerges as the most pressing demand in a survey of public attitudes on infrastructure across 28 countries. Three-quarters of citizens see investment in infrastructure as vital to their countries’ future economic growth, though 60% think their country is not doing enough to meet its infrastructure needs. The Global Infrastructure Index survey […]

Why did India suddenly pull out of the world’s largest trade deal?

After seven long years of talks, leaders of 15 Asia-Pacific nations finally reached an agreement on the world’s largest trade deal, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), in Bangkok in November (the RCEP will likely be formally signed next year).   India’s Sudden About Face   China pushed to finalize the RCEP deal as it faces […]

CIPE Sessions at the 33rd CACCI Conference on November 26-27, 2019 in Dhaka

Delegates to the 33rd CACCI Conference to be held on November 26-27, 2019 in Dhaka, Bangladesh can look forward to another interesting and highly informative gathering, as this year’s program will feature special sessions to be organized by the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE).   The two sessions to be organized by CIPE are […]

“Regional Conference on Preventing and Combating Corruption in Infrastructure in Asia-Pacific,” on December 3, 2019 in Hanoi

CACCI would like to convey to its members an invitation from Business at OECD (BIAC) to participate in the “Regional Conference on Preventing and Combating Corruption in Infrastructure in Asia-Pacific” to be held on December 3, 2019 in Hanoi, Vietnam. As part of the OECD Southeast Asia Anti-Corruption and Business Integrity Project, the OECD is […]

“2020 Smart City Summit & Expo” on March 24-27, 2020 in Taipei

  CACCI forwards herewith an invitation to attend the “2020 Smart City Summit & Expo (SCSE)” to be held on March 24-27, 2020 in Taipei, Taiwan. Organized by the Taipei Computer Association, the four-day event aims to accelerate the application of AI technologies in different areas such as transportation, healthcare, education, energy efficiency and sustainability, […]

As ASEAN enters an infrastructure boom, geopolitical and economic risks abound

Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images Photo: A newly launched bullet train undergoes a test run between Yancheng in Jiangsu province and Lianyungang in China. Southeast Asia is witnessing an infrastructure boom, through loans provided by Japan and China.   Southeast Asia is witnessing an infrastructure boom, with major projects approved in Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia and […]

The digital economy is boosting productivity — but official measures aren’t capturing the benefits

The new digital economy has become a key driver of United States economic growth and productivity. For instance, the real value added has grown at an average annual rate of 7.2% over the past 10 years — four times faster than GDP. The recent raft of technological advances has also led to the emergence of […]

“Asia-Pacific Agribusiness Development and Matching Forum,” October 24, 2019, New Taipei City, Taiwan

CACCI would like to forward an invitation to its members from the International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF) to attend the “Asia-Pacific Agribusiness Development and Matching Forum” to be held on October 24, 2019 in New Taipei City, Taiwan. As a platform for international exchange, the Forum is expected to be attended by government officials […]

No sign of a trade war resolution. How is China adjusting its supply chains?

In November 2018, BRINK spoke to Gary Gereffi, director of the Global Value Chains Center at Duke University, about what impact the U.S.-China trade dispute was having on global supply chains. We caught up with him recently to see how his view had changed over the last 10 months.     An interview with Gary […]

What’s the right balance of energy, security and sustainability?

Photo: Wind turbines spin next to an electric cable pylon as the sun sets near Schönwalde in eastern Germany. Renewable installations in the power sector now account for almost two-thirds of new generation capacity. An energy transition is unfolding around the world. In efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and air pollution, governments are installing […]

Is 5G technology bad for your health?

Photo: Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images Photo: A technician checks an antenna for the 5G mobile network service on the rooftop of a building in Seoul. 5G is designed to permit much faster transmission of data than present day 3G and 4G technologies. Pushback to technological revolutions sometimes arises in unexpected places. Case in point is the […]

ASEAN Young Entrepreneurs conclude energetic Summit in Bangkok

Thirty-six visionary young leaders of ASEAN gathered at the Royal Orchid Sheraton Bangkok on September 2nd and 3rd 2019 to share with other young businessmen their successes, failures, challenges, concerns, and future plans. Guided by a vision for a smart, sustainable and empowered ASEAN, the ASEAN Young Entrepreneurs Carnival was attended by global change makers, […]

2019 Taiwan Business Alliance Conference on October 7, 2019 in Taipei

CACCI would like to convey to all its members an invitation to attend the 2019 Taiwan Business Alliance Conference to be held on October 7, 2019 in Taipei, Taiwan. Carrying the theme of “Secure and Trustworthy,” the one-day event serves as a platform for showcasing the achievements of international corporations operating in Taiwan as well […]

Blockchain promised a revolution. It’ll have to clear three governance hurdles first

(Photo: Giant letters, spelling out the word “blockchain,” are displayed at the Blockchain Centre in Lithuania’s capital, Vilnius. Blockchain is a relatively new technology with no predetermined governance structure.) Today, traditional digital platform companies are governed like most firms and institutions — one entity is in charge. It’s responsible for maintaining its platform, attracting users and fixing […]

VCCI conducts “Short Term Trade Finance and International Trade” in partnership with CACCI, ICC CR

Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) in partnership with CACCI and International Chamber of Commerce Czech Republic (ICC CR), conducted a workshop on “Short Term Trade Finance and International Trade” on April 17-18, 2019 in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Pavel Andrle from ICC CR led the workshop attended by over 350 […]

EU GDPR: A Look Back and Ahead

When the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) took effect one year ago this week, on May 25th 2018, proponents of the new law promised a profound change in data privacy protection. The sweeping regulation has not disappointed. Here’s a quick look at where we are one year later.   Open for Business   […]

Promises & pitfalls of 5G Technology

In December, the Federal Communications Commission will undertake the largest spectrum auction in U.S. history—putting 3.4 GHz of airwaves on the market to free up space for 5G communications. As the next generation in wireless technology, 5G promises to boost data speeds by up to 100 times, making it competitive with the fastest wired broadband […]

Electricity Grid Cybersecurity Will Be Expensive. Who Will Pay, and How Much?

Photo: David McNew/Getty Images (Photo: A figure looks at the dynamic map board showing power distribution through California’s electrical grids in Los Angeles, California. People rarely consider whether they’re paying the right amount to ensure that the lights come on when they’re needed.) Recently, a neighbor asked one of us whether Russia, China, North Korea […]

Kowloon CC invites CACCI members to 125th Canton Fair

Hong Kong – The Kowloon Chamber of Commerce (KCC) is inviting CACCI members to participate in the 125th Canton Fair to be held from April 15 to May 5, 2019 in Guangzhou, China. The Canton Fair (also known as the China Import and Export Fair) is an international exhibition organized jointly by the Ministry of […]

Invitation to Cebu Business Month Innovation Expo on June 12-14

The Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) is inviting CACCI members to the Cebu Business Month (CBM) 2019 Innovation Expo on June 12 to 14 at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino. The CBM is one of CCCI’s flagship projects held annually in order to inspire, promote and grow Cebu business by gathering […]

Greetings from the 11th World Chambers Congress

Rio de Janeiro – The ICC trusts that you’ve had an opportunity to learn about our upcoming 11th World Chambers Congress, the largest international gathering for chambers of commerce and their business members, from our news feeds. Need guidance or more information? The Congress team is here for you. Don’t hesitate to contact them. Register […]

Deadline extended for submission of nominations for the 2019 World Chambers Competition

Rio de Janeiro – CACCI wishes to inform Primary and Affiliate members that the deadline of submission of nominations for the 2019 World Chambers Competition has been extended to give all chambers the opportunity to send their innovative projects. The new deadline is on February 15, 2019. The 2019 World Chambers Competition will be held […]

KCC Officers forge links with IEAT

Taipei – Secretary-General Mr. Peter Huang of the Importers and Exporters Association of Taipei (IEAT) (4th from right, left photo) received key officers of the Kowloon Chamber of Commerce (KCC) during the latter’s visit to Taipei on January 25. KCC Permanent Chairman Mr. Conrad Lee (3rd from left), KCC Vice Chairman Mr. Ernest Yuen (4th […]

Nepal Investment Summit – March 29-30 in Kathmandu

Kathmandu – CACCI members are invited to Nepal Investment Summit (NIS) on March 29-30, 2019 at Soaltee Crowne Plaza in Kathmandu. The Summit aims to promote Nepal as a promising investment destination and brings together high-level government authorities, leading business executives from across the globe, senior officials of the international financial institutions, representatives of global […]

HKCBMIA newsletter – January edition available

Hong Kong – CACCI is pleased to send you herewith a copy of the January 2019 issue of the Newsletter of the Hong Kong Children, Babies, Maternity Industries Association (HKCBMIA), an Affiliate Member of CACCI. The newsletter can be downloaded HERE. For more information on HKCBMIA, please visit its website at hkcbmia.com.hk.

Doing Business 2019: World Bank’s report

  Washington D.C. – Doing Business 2019: Training for Reform, a World Bank Group flagship publication, is the 16th in a series of annual reports measuring the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it. Doing Business presents quantitative indicators on business regulations and the protection of property rights that can be compared across […]

ASEAN Investment Report 2018 published

Singapore – CACCI is pleased to share with its members a copy of the ASEAN Investment Report 2018, which was launched at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit held in Singapore on November 12, 2018. The ASEAN Investment Report is an annual report analysing investment and related issues in the region. It is prepared under a […]

Jamshed Jumakhonzoda – Tajikistan CCI’s new chairman

Taipei – The Director General of CACCI, Mr. Ernest Lin, extended a congratulatory letter to Mr. Jamshed Jumakhonzoda, the new Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Tajikistan (CCIRT.) The text of the missive is as follows:        

New Economic Plan will ensure confidence on Turkey – Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay

Istanbul – Turkish Vice-President Fuat Oktay said during the Opening Ceremony of the 32nd CACCI Conference held on November 23-24, 2018 that “by applying powerful and practical action plans against the speculative attack on the Turkish economy, the New Economic Program will be firmly implemented for 2019-2021 to ensure confidence on Turkey as a global […]

“Strengthening Global Trade Through Reform”

Joint Statement of the Global Chamber Platform 16th Annual Gathering, 4th October 2018, Buenos Aires, Argentina   This year’s Global Economic Report released in March, visibly underlined the confidence of the Global Chamber Platform (GCP) in sustained economic growth for 2018. At a juncture in which world growth is slowly picking up steam after a […]

MNCCI CEO becomes 1st Mongolian to receive Golden Camel Award

Hunan – Mrs. M.Oyunchimeg, CEO of the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI) and Vice President of the Silk Road Chamber of International Commerce (SRCIC), has been awarded the SRCIC Golden Camel Award alongside five people including Mr. Jemal Inaishvili, President of the Confederation of Asia Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CACCI) […]

Lub-rref renews BAB Accreditation

Dhaka – Lub-rref (Bangladesh) Ltd., a lifetime member of CACCI, has recently received its renewed Accreditation Certificate from Bangladesh Accreditation Board (BAB). Through this achievement, Lub-rref (Bangladesh) Ltd can perform test of all type of Petroleum Products in its laboratory situated in Chattogram, Bangladesh and issue test report that will have global acceptance. It is […]

Importers and Exporters Association of Taipei (IEAT) – New CACCI Affiliate Member

Taipei – The Importers and Exporters Association of Taipei (IEAT) is the newest affiliate member of CACCI. We welcome IEAT to the growing CACCI family! Established in 1947, the IEAT represents businesses engaged in import-export trade. With some 5,700 members, IEAT is the largest importers and exporters association as well as one of the most […]

ASEAN launches Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN)

Singapore – ASEAN Business Advisory Council Philippines (ASEAN BAC PH) Chairman and ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN) Founding Chair Joey Concepcion officially launched AMEN in Singapore last August 27, 2018. ASEAN BAC PH Chair Concepcion was joined by ASEAN BAC 2018 Chair Robert Yap together with ASEAN CSR Network CEO Thomas Thomas and ASEAN […]

HKCBMIA – New CACCI affiliate member

Hong Kong – The newest CACCI Affiliate Member is the Hong Kong Children, Babies, Maternity Industries Association Ltd. (HKCBMIA). Established in September 2016, the HKCBMIA aims to: (a) build up the data base of the industry to promote and enhance information exchange among its members; (b) organize business teams in Hong Kong and abroad to […]

FICCI to hold 15th edition of CAPAM

Mumbai – The 15th edition of the Annual Capital Markets Conference – ‘CAPAM 2018’ – is being organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) on 11 September, 2018 at Hotel Trident, Nariman Point, Mumbai. CAPAM is recognized as the leading and most sought-after capital markets event in India and it […]