Article by Chris Laws, supply chain specialist and Vice President of Product, Strategy, and GTM at Dun & Bradstreet.
Businesses have experienced serious supply chain disruptions caused by Covid-19 for over 18 months now, with 99 per cent of procurement and supply chain leaders interviewed by Dun & Bradstreet claiming that Covid-19 has impacted their procurement processes.
Earlier this year, the Yantian terminal in Shenzhen had to be closed due to a rise in cases, causing supply chain delays for manufacturers and retailers around the world.
So it’s little surprise that the ‘pingdemic’ is creating renewed frustrations for businesses in the UK as cases soar and suppliers struggle to find the staff to maintain regular trade.
Our research found supply chain professionals are facing additional challenges alongside Covid-19 - 40 per cent say it’s a struggle to maintain a useful and timely view of their suppliers, while other challenges include sharing data across the business to inform decision-making (38 per cent) and obtaining actionable insights from data already in hand (37 per cent).
With Covid-19 disruption set to continue, businesses need to ensure they have a holistic and clear overview of who they’re doing business with, and even their suppliers’ suppliers.
What we are seeing from these events is the need for companies to make investments in data and technology to create end-to-end digital processes that eliminate dependency upon tasks which are challenging in homeworking contexts, as well as developing agile and geographically dispersed supply chains that can quickly pivot during unexpected events.
This greater level of transparency and efficiency can help companies keep downstream production and the delivery of products to end-users on track for on-time delivery – helping to not only maintain supplier, but also customer satisfaction.
By analysing their supply chain data, they can be able to lower reliance on specific vendors and expose vulnerabilities in their supply chains as companies can quickly determine alternative suppliers in non-impacted areas and engage them to offset the delays of supply, and improve their business continuity planning to help ensure survival through these turbulent times.