Five predictions for a post-COVID world

A new paper from Bastian consulting predicts that supply chains are going to become more diversified and focused on producing closer to markets through using tech to lower costs

A new white paper from Bastian Consulting predicts that supply chains are going to see long-term transformation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These changes will be focused on reducing the risk represented in supply chains by making manufacturing more robust and moving product closer to consumers, with tech providing cheaper means to produce and better capacity to follow shipments in real time.  

To download the full white paper, click here, but if you want the quick run-down, here are the five predictions from the white paper.

1)      Supply chains will diversify to manage risk

Bastian consulting believes that there will be a major shift in supply chains to be more geographically diversified. There will be a conscious effort not to be caught out again by having too much production focused in one geography or country. “This could lead to a boost to other low-cost manufacturing environments” says the white paper, “as is already happening in countries such as Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand,” which they think may eventually come “to rival China as the world's engine room.”

2)      Local manufacturing reinvigorated

Part of this change towards a more carefully managed approach to risk is going to be bringing more capacity to produce key elements closer to core markets says the research. However, this will require policy support and the adoption of technologies, such as 3D printing, high-tech automation and robotics.

3)      Micro supply chains will enable flexibility to react to volatile consumer demand

As a result of the move towards these more flexible and nimbler production modes that sit close to the customer, there will be more ability to suddenly change tack when needed. Micro supply chains greater agility will mean companies can “Alter production and delivery, scalevolumes, and introduce new products at short notice,” such as when many shifted production towards pandemic-related goods in the first half of 2020.

4)      Supply chains will become smarter

“AI, machine learning, predictive analytics, IoT and blockchain will be used to provide precision, enhanced visibility, and transparency to supply chains and enable real-time decision-making and responsiveness,” says the white paper, noting that the way many have been exposed by the pandemic will act as a spur for change.

5)      The talent wars

Achieving technological progress comes at a price, however, with technical expertise for supply chains coming at a premium in terms of remuneration for key staff. The white paper advises organisations to start thinking ahead about what key skills they need and how they will fulfil those roles now.

Click here for the full white paper.


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