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Risk Management of Disruptive Events in Supply Chains

By Christopher Regenhardt, Application Sales Rep SCM

As a consequence of the “New Normal” due to the Covid-19 situation, we all have recognized that our behaviour and our expectations as customer have been dramatically changed. Customers expect more now than ever reliable and on time arrival of shipments, both in personal and business life.

During the pandemic we recognized shortages of goods on-shelf availability in supermarkets. The most famous example for all of us was toilet paper. This customer behavior demonstrated how important it is to have a resilient and reliable supply chain management environment in place.

Common for supply chains, but everyone now is alerted to the meaning of a combination of the so-called VUCA:

  • Volatility
  • Uncertainty
  • Complexity and
  • Ambiguity

It is quintessential to check current challenges and risks for supply chains, the consequences and how to protect supply chains from these risks. This requires extended risk management and the option to fast and easy adopt your supply chain for new situations. It can be a pandemic and a local lockdown like in these times, or a supplier who goes bankrupt or new trade issues, i.e. new import taxes for goods.

Shippers and consignees need to investigate their current supply chain setups and how this is supported by their current Supply Chain Management (SCM) and Transportation Management System (TMS). Recent research by Fraunhofer Institute shows that currently, only 25% of companies measure and report disruptive events on a company-wide basis and in integrated systems. 

Ask yourself questions like:

  • Am I able to manage all my transportation and warehouse needs in a single unified system?
  • Can I have real-time visibility into where my inventory and freight are at any point of the supply chain process?
  • Do I have insights into my transportation assets, capacity utilization and availability?
  • When issues have an impact on my deliveries, do I receive real-time alerts?
  • Do I have the tools to resolve them in a timely manner?

In order to prevent issues within your supply chain, you need to have a clear view on the current and future demand situation. Key to get this is to have a single source of truth that does not have to exchange data from various sources. Based on this, you can plan and orchestrate your shipments and orders. It is vital that you share data in real time with your partners involved to detect issues before they become a road blocker for you and your customers.

Today’s supply chains need constant management based on real time data, Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, simulations, blockchain and partners. In addition, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become more and more a huge support for daily decisions and to foresee risks before they occur. 

As mentioned in the beginning, the current situation showed us where improvement of supply chain processes is required, and we are ready to support you to reach operational excellence and the ability to react to whatever surprise will show up in future. 

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