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Unchain the supply chain

BY BEN AYLOR ET AL

After decades of refinement, it seemed that global companies had gotten supply chain management down to a science.

By orchestrating complex, international networks of suppliers, factories and logistics providers, companies had been able to squeeze out cost, get goods to distant markets with efficiency and keep inventory to a minimum.

Companies had already begun rethinking their far-flung supply chains in response to changing labour costs, advances in automation, rising protectionism and external shocks, such as natural disasters.

But it took the Covid-19 pandemic to more fully expose structural flaws that have prompted organisations to fundamentally reassess their approach to global manufacturing and sourcing.

Factory lockdowns, transportation disruptions and panicbuying led to shortages. The crisis also heightened geopolitical tensions, trade restrictions and nationalist policies aimed at promoting domestic industry that are likely to continue reshaping the global business landscape.

Now, companies are exploring various ways to build more resilience into their manufacturing and supply networks — even if that resilience leads to extra costs.… Exactly what a future-resilient supply chain looks like will vary by industrial sector, location and the type of sourcing and manufacturing network that best fits each organisation’s strategic objectives.

From “Designing Resilience into Global Supply Chains”

DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.

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