We are in a perfect storm with the global supply chain and 2022 is shaping up to be even more difficult. The reality is that most businesses lack the essential capabilities needed to overcome this disruption and ensure that their supply chains are resilient, relevant and accountable.

They currently don’t have the right level of visibility across their supply networks to see disruptions as they unfold and they struggle to predict and meet demand for their supplies. products and services.

Global growth is at stake

This is bad news for the global economy. According to a new research study, “Accenture: C-Suite Reactions to the Supply Chain Crisis,” not only will some companies fail to meet basic needs, but 88% of C-Suite executives surveyed believe the result The expected supply chain disruption will be continued price increases, forcing consumers to cut spending just as businesses hope to offset 2020 losses.

Perhaps most concerning is that a third (33%) of executives think the crisis could last up to three years.

Maintaining stakeholder confidence is essential to mitigate potential losses. Customer expectations will remain high, and businesses that fail to meet those expectations will lose their brand equity. That’s why business leaders are already taking action to address the threats posed by supply chain disruption. According to our research, top business actions include ordering supplies earlier than before (43%), creating new contingency plans to limit the impact on the business (43%), and restructuring supply chains. procurement and inventory management processes (42%).

Digital opportunities supported by the Cloud

However, beyond the immediate steps businesses will take now to ease the pain of disruption, there are medium to long term changes that will drive value. Just as COVID-driven remote working has improved the way many businesses operate for the better, so too will the changes in supply chain management that come in the wake of the current crisis.

Chief among them is the adoption of data-driven technology and the cloud. Thanks to advances in digital technology, companies can for the first time assess every supply chain decision against a rich set of factors. Indeed, the intersection of automation, AI and robotics will allow companies to create digital twins of their tiered supply networks and subject these models to stress tests and scenarios. ” and if “.

This will help uncover weak links and vulnerabilities in the supply chain and resolve them, for example by changing partners or bringing manufacturing closer to home. Such an approach could also ensure that only a limited percentage of a critical item passes through the same vendor, port or route, thus helping to build resiliency.

Real-time data analysis will also provide greater flexibility to track changes in demand. By setting up supply chain control towers and equipping managers with real-time demand and supply planning and digital management tools, companies will be able to keep track of customer needs and ensuring that products get to where the demand is greatest. Such capabilities will prove particularly useful during peak times of demand, such as what businesses experienced in the past holiday season.

This digital thread, supported by the cloud, is to weave several integrated technologies throughout your operations, so that your employees, in conjunction with AI and analytics, can predict and monitor the consequences of almost every action in time. real.

It is a transformational way of managing supply chains that will make them more resilient, more responsive to customer demands and sustainable development practices. Significantly, our research suggests that this is a model that many leaders expect to adopt: 79% of people we spoke to said the increased use of automation, l AI and robotics to create full visibility is a likely outcome of the current disruption.

The cloud is essential to this digital thread – delivering vast amounts of computing power, with a simple, flexible and affordable digital and data architecture that opens up a myriad of possibilities for the supply chain – and enables leaders to manage service levels and costs, incorporating resilience and ensuring responsible operations.

Look ahead

Supply chain leaders are discovering how to go beyond simply responding to this new reality, but also thriving in it. A cloud-backed digital foundation will be what will enable them to manage both fluctuating demand, the need for resilience, the pressure of cost management and calls for greater accountability to the environment. society and the environment.

Companies that increase their investments in digital and cloud will be in the best position to meet customer expectations and generate strong growth.

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