Vlad Bulacovschi 17 December 2021

Expect the Unexpected – How to best prepare for future disruptions in your supply chain

When the Covid-19 pandemic started ravishing the entire planet in early 2020, supply chain disruptions started to quickly propagate throughout the world, exposing vulnerabilities just about everywhere.

Expect the Unexpected – How to best prepare for future disruptions in your supply chain

When the Covid-19 pandemic started ravishing the entire planet in early 2020, supply chain disruptions started to quickly propagate throughout the world, exposing vulnerabilities just about everywhere. Many industries such as automotive, pharma, chemical, real estate, retail trade, airlines have been severely affected by the global pandemic and it will take years to recover to pre pandemic levels. Global supply chains are continuously evolving, and in order to best prepare for future disruptions, companies need to start taking action now and take advantage of the technology advancements that have increased the capabilities of supply chain digital platforms in recent years. 

In order to be proactive, rather than reactive, and start developing resilient supply chains, companies need to embrace change and digitize their supply chains as much as possible. In order to achieve transparency and great visibility into the transit of goods and information across their supply chains, companies need to give access to the same real time data and information to all stakeholders, at the same time.

Organizations that are not fully prepared for these disruptions in the future might lag behind in terms of profitability and the ability to meet or exceed customer expectations. At the foundation of end-to-end supply chain visibility and transparency lies the supply chain digital platform. An efficient supply chain digital platform consolidates all data in one place so that all stakeholders, both from inside and outside the organization, can have access to the same information, at the same time, so that they can always make informed, timely decisions. This will enable teams to identify trends, collaborate efficiently to identify risks throughout the supply chain, and react quickly when needed, in order to mitigate risk. Instead of wasting time consolidating data manually, analysts can focus more on other critical areas of the business that require their attention.


Real time supply chain overview

Businesses need to have a comprehensive and exhaustive overview of their supply chains at any point in time. They need to know what products they have in inventory, what products they are manufacturing at any point in time and in what quantities. They also need to know what products are in transit. An efficient inventory optimization algorithm will help businesses analyze their safety stock and cycle stock on a continuous basis. Moving to a digital platform will help users answer questions about their supply chain, such as when to place an order, how much to order, how much to manufacture, which suppliers to order from. Procurement, manufacturing, operations and sales are all interconnected, and having access to the same information in real time helps stakeholders make informed and timely decisions.

In the post Covid-19 pandemic era, companies will need to have good contingency plans in place to mitigate risk and embrace uncertainty.

In order to achieve great visibility into their supply chains and have good contingency measures in place, companies first need to map out their entire supply chains, both downstream and upstream. Procurement departments need to map out their suppliers’ network and understand where potential disruptions could occur. They also need to map out tier 2, tier 3, tier 4 suppliers and beyond as much as possible. Mapping out your suppliers’ networks can be cumbersome, costly and time consuming, but the covid-19 supply chain crisis proved that now is the time to act. Companies need to start putting recovery plans in place together with their suppliers, identify viable alternatives to their current suppliers, and actively monitor what is happening in the world using various sources of information. Efficient real time communication across all stakeholders is key to maintaining an efficient supply chain.

Looking ahead.

A modern supply chain digital platform can collect data automatically from all areas of your supply chain and using AI-based algorithms and machine learning, help all stakeholders proactively manage their respective areas of the supply chain and make decisions that are collectively in the best interest of the organization. Constant real time communication among all stakeholders is key to running a successful operation. Mapping out the suppliers’ network by geography and identifying areas of geopolitical or economic risk and coming up with alternatives for each key component can help prevent outages. Running what-if scenarios can help all stakeholders prepare better for unforeseen events. For example, if a key component is delayed, the buyers in the procurement department can quickly react and buy that component from a different supplier. If the network is already mapped and contingency measures are in place, then the planner will quickly identify the risk and the buyer will be able to procure the component from an alternate supplier.


The future of the supply chain is digital. Businesses will have to keep up the pace with rapidly evolving digital strategies in order to survive in a global market. It is more important than ever before for companies to have transparency into their data and to be able to react quickly in case of unforeseen events that could potentially disrupt their business. Through good communication and real time access to data, businesses and their suppliers and customers can leverage modern technology to thrive, regardless of the obstacles that lie ahead.

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