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Pandemic prompts re-evaluation of supply chain risk management 

New research from Reuters Events Supply Chain, in partnership with Blue Yonder, shows that retailers and brands are making the most of the omnichannel opportunities seen in the last 18 months, but are also re-evaluating risk in their supply chain as a result of the pandemic.

From constraints on raw materials, to labour shortages, to growing cybersecurity threats on distributed networks, pandemic-related challenges have shifted supply chain risk management priorities, according to the 2021 State of Supply Chain Execution report.

The research showed that only 29% of retailers/manufacturers were investing in near/onshoring plans. 63% said that dual-sourcing was a favoured strategy for risk management moving forward.

Concerns about the environment are also featuring more highly when planning for supply chain risks. Over half (53%) of retailers/manufacturers plan to invest in sustainability as a strategy for risk management.

Logistics service providers said they were under pressure to reduce supply chain costs (58%) while also improving service levels for their retailer customers (48%) and dealing with labour shortages (30%).

This is being done by a move from legacy systems to more agile operations.  63% of retailers/manufacturers and 60% of logistics service providers said that end-to-end visibility is currently yielding the highest ROI in their supply chain execution process and roughly half (48%) of retailers/manufacturers and more than half (57%) of LSPs have a robust cloud strategy in place.

“As the economy transitions to a post-pandemic environment, retailers, manufacturers and LSPs are transforming their transportation and broader supply chain operations to address their most pressing supply chain challenges,” said Raj Patel, senior director, 3PL Industry Strategy, Blue Yonder.

“In the long term, investment in execution systems like Transportation Management Systems (TMS) and Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), as well as end-to-end visibility, automation, and cloud strategies will help them – and their customers – build more sustainable, resilient and agile organisations for the future.”

 

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