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Retail Industry Updates Supply Chain Industry Updates

Is Your Supply Chain Doing Something Wrong?


Wondering what the “new normal” of supply chains will look like? That’s of course hard to answer because there isn’t even agreement on when the status quo will return to any sort of “normal.”

In that case, it makes sense to focus instead on an interim period of change — what you could call a “pre-new normal.” A new white paper from DHL, “Post Coronavirus Supply Chain Recovery,” attempts to describe what that might look like.

Organizations are likely to attempt to bring more resilience to their supply chains, with many of them taking a hard look at dual sourcing, re-shoring, and near-shoring, the paper said. Also, instead of focusing on their tier-1 suppliers and calling it a day, companies will want more information about how their tier-2 and tier-3 suppliers are doing.

“It is important to analyze the challenges and experiences across industries during this crisis and to envision how resilient supply chains can be in the future so that we may best advise our customers,” said Katja Busch, chief commercial officer and head of DHL Customer Solutions and Innovation.

To keep up with volatile consumer demand, companies might adopt more-flexible and alternative transportation flows and warehouse networks. Their information systems will need to be able to serve the needs of a highly distributed workforce, the report noted.

“As in every crisis, the strengths but also the weaknesses of the system become visible,” observed Richard Wilding, a professor of supply chain strategy at the UK’s Cranfield University and a major contributor to the white paper. “To become better, it is important to learn from such emergency situations. In the new normal, if your supply chain is the same as the one that you had pre-coronavirus, you’re probably doing something wrong.”