How to future proof your supply chain

To ride out the supply chain crisis businesses need to get to know every element of their supply chain, the risks at each level and how to manage them.

Our experts have put together some practical points to help you manage your suppliers through this unprecedented time and help keep your supply chains strong, sustainable and resilient.

Adapting decision making

Traditional hierarchical leadership can lead to delays in decision making. Long chains of command mean missed opportunities to secure material when it’s available. A way to counteract these delays is with decision-making authority at multiple levels, or self-directed operational units. Moving leadership closer to the action means setting lower-level goals and tactics. These must be aligned with global (strategic) objectives to avoid cutting across them. This is often a significant culture change for organisations and a great deal of trust is required between management and teams. Difficult as it is, it is a key enabler. 

Local decision making

The long supply chains created over the last few decades have removed huge amounts of the risks that were routinely accepted a generation earlier. We need to encourage more localised decision making and risk-taking under controlled circumstances and within a robust governance process.

Intelligent inventory management

Using data, technology and advanced forecasting tools to manage buffers up and down the supply chain must become the norm. Variables in play at every stage of the process need to be properly understood and actively managed.

Bigger stock policies

Businesses need to go back to their risk tables and begin to price in disruption costs and hold sufficient inventory to cover the costs, financial and reputational, of a stock out.

Supply chain visibility

Producers need to invest in technology and resource to collect data, analyse it quickly and make use of the insights. After decades of extreme stability in modern supply chains, businesses must re-learn the skills of operating in a volatile environment where geopolitical issues and disruptions to globalisation are now the expected way of the world.

Global supply chains report

Our latest report compares our most recent topical survey of over 400 middle market business leaders with what our experts are seeing in the market. The good news is there’s still reason for optimism and opportunities, despite tough conditions.

Read our supply chains report  

Sector and economic insights on global supply chains

How will disruption to global supply chains affect your sector and the wider economy? Discover more with our experts.

Read our supply chain insights 

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