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Lighthouse - July, 2020.

DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES WILL POWER THE SUPPLY CHAINS OF THE POST-COVID ERA

With China, the factory of the world, being the epicentre of the pandemic, supply chain networks in all industry segments across the globe have been affected. What Covid-19 has revealed is the lack of a contingency plan in the face of disruptions.

Post-COVID: The rise of the new ‘digital’ world

The positive repercussion of the post-COVID-19 era will be a fast ushering in of digital transformative practices across all industry segments. Technology-driven business models will become more important than ever before and they will define the global supply chain strategy of tomorrow.
COVID-19 has made us realize the need to reduce our dependency on physical labour across transportation, logistics and warehousing sectors. Enabled by latest technologies like Internet-of-things, blockchain, control towers, artificial intelligence/machine learning-enabled demand forecasting, rule-based and self-adjusting stock allocations, autonomous devices such as AGVs and drones, among others, they will go a long way in creating a robust supply chain networks in the post-COVID era.
The five most important aspects that will be essentials for supply chains of the near future are:

1.Smart procurement practices: Advanced machine learning algorithms can help companies understand where and when to source, based on their previous purchases, commodity prices, agro and industrial trends and other factors

2.Supply chain control tower: A single source of information about sourcing to delivery for all trading partners to see and adapt to changing demand and supply scenarios across the world.

3.End-to-end information management: Supply chain data management with intelligent automation and analytics which captures supply chain transactions accurately with high consistency and minimum redundancy. This allows for in-depth insights regarding supplier performance, supply chain diagnostics, market intelligence and risk management.

4.Supply chain simulation: Helps in forming new supply chain strategies for business or operating model change, demand and supply changes or logistic disruptions or constraints. Helps to validate and identify the best cost-efficient network to achieve the necessary service level across the value chain.

5.Supplier risk management: N tier risk management helping organizations model cost structures, trend performance data and visibility into the extended value chain to keep abreast of any supply disruptions and secure capacity. This could help companies avoid sudden disruptions in the supply chain and deal with lack of information.

We can implement the learnings from the COVID period to come back stronger. the post-COVID era is going to be rife with challenges across the business landscape, from a liquidity crunch to disruptions in the supply chain to increase in trade barriers, and a shifting consumer mindset. Technology is going to be a key enabler by improving existing supply chains to be more resilient ones and enhancing customer experiences, the new era will usher in more intelligent and optimized processes for improved business outcomes.

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