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Supply Chain Industry Updates

‘Pandora’s Box Cannot Be Closed’


“Like nothing we have seen before.”

That is an observation about the pandemic’s impact on global supply chains. Some readers might regard it as an understatement.

It appeared in a report based on the experiences of 587 supply chain executives surveyed by Reuters Events in partnership with CalAmp. The authors of Emerging Out of the Pandemic said their findings demonstrate that “tackling a crisis of this magnitude can only be done by embracing both visibility and technical flexibility across the extended supply chain. Those looking to build resilience and emerge from the pandemic stronger than before must accept the fundamental changes that it has bought about. Pandora’s Box cannot be closed. No longer can businesses avoid investment into digitization or risk management in favor of cost reduction.”

The white paper had four key findings:

  • Demand planning — “51% of shippers identified ‘lack of clarity on customer demand’ as the biggest supply chain bottleneck they are seeing due to COVID-19,” the report said. “This shows the growing need for demand planning software moving forward.”
  • E-commerce boom — “65% of shippers have either slightly or significantly increased their e-commerce operations due to COVID-19. The e-commerce boom is well underway and represents a huge growth opportunity for the industry.”
  • Changing face of work — “On a scale of 0-100, shippers noted that workforce productivity scored 77, whilst it scored 80 for logistics service providers. Given the success of remote working, the future of the office is more uncertain than ever. Work as we know it may never be the same.”
  • Digital excellence — “58% of logistics service providers have shortened their technology roadmaps due to COVID-19. Continued focus upon digital infrastructures will provide medium-term gains and lay the foundation for a more resilient supply chain for years to come.”

“Over the next 18 to 24 months, I expect to see a renewed push for digital transformations that are focused on improving the visibility into consumer demand, Tier I and sub-tier supplier performance and risk, inventories and forward/reverse logistics,” commented Jeff Newman, vice president of supply chain visibility solution sales at CalAmp. “The increased visibility will also make the supply chains nimble to enable faster business innovation.”

Emerging Out of the Pandemic was developed in association with the Reuters Events: Supply Chain USA Virtual to be held Oct. 7 and 8.