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Without a doubt, Covid-19 imposed a shock on the supply chain system. For the first half of 2020, companies had to conduct business from home, swap stores for e-commerce, and form new partnerships as suppliers and logistics reorganized.
Now, as a new trade landscape takes shape, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Flexport share suggestions, based on lessons learned, to activate agility during times of major disruption. These ideas can help leaders design fresh maps for strategy and operations not just during a period of economic recovery—but in the face of future disruption.
Heading into 2020, the economy was already showing signs of weakening as a result of the trade war, Brexit, and IMO 2020. But the pandemic eclipsed these hurdles in two important ways. First, while other challenges were limited to regions or line items, the extent of Covid-19 disruption was total. Then, the totality of supply chain disruption turned a health crisis into an economic crisis.
With that, businesses are now on a path to adjust forecasts or recalibrate approaches for transport and overall supply chain management. The silver lining: fresh opportunity.
For both the near and medium terms, accelerating agility is key to business recovery.
Trends to watch include shifting demand, market consolidation, cargo tracking and deep visibility, increased cost sensitivity, and sustainability.
To ensure maximum effectiveness, keep in mind the following guidelines:
- Build resilience into your process. Have backup options ready to put into play if disruption arises.
- Improve transparency across the supply chain by upgrading technology and automating data for richer insights that can inform decisions throughout the supply chain.
- Think about how to diversify operations. Derisk with supply chain strategies that balance speed with cost. The combination of current technology and smart partnership creates both the agility and resilience businesses need to make it through tough times.
To learn more about how to transform disruption into opportunity, download the white paper, How to Activate Agility During Major Disruptions in Global Trade.