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The Role of Tech in Shifting the Supply Chain

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The disruption of a global pandemic has caused a great deal of reflection for those involved in supply chain management. China dominates much of the supply chain as a huge player in global manufacturing and exports. When the COVID19 pandemic caused supply chain mayhem at the start of 2020, much of the disruption originated from supply issues and manufacturing delays due to the shutdown of factories across China. 


Recent years have seen an upward trend in nearshoring, a process which enables businesses to move their operations to a closer location; having operations nearby allows for more time and cost efficiency. This one trend is the beginning of what could be a complete shift in the supply chain map. 


In addition to the pandemic the initiation of Brexit also caused numerous issues. The UK’s exit from the EU affected many small and medium sized businesses who did not have the financial resources to adequately prepare for the impact. 


All these factors have left the Supply Chain vulnerable to any further disruption or unforeseen interruptions. The Global Supply Chain Pressure Index reports on the global supply chain in order to gauge the current pressures which could cause delay or backlog. The index reports on global transportation costs, airfreight costs as well as manufacturing companies across interconnected economies such as China, Europe, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan,  the United Kingdom and the United States. 


As well as global supply issues there is also the added pressure of consumer expectations, with increased focus on being offered a wide choice of goods delivered faster and cheaper. However with cost and speed at the forefront there is also a global focus on sustainability, with consumers actively choosing goods and services which offer a more environmentally friendly approach. 


The sum of all these pressures has emphasised resilience as a focal point. One way to improve resilience is to increase visibility within the supply chain, with a more detailed and accurate overview in order to identify possible disruption faster and deal with them more efficiently. Technology offers the opportunity to increase visibility in the supply chain and more businesses are turning to such technologies as AI, Automation and Robotics as well as IoT. Collectively these technologies will offer better access to detailed data and tracking to improve the supply chain experience from manufacturer to consumer. 


Overall advances in technology can help to augment supply chain capabilities and visibility. Identifying potential issues and problems which affect the supply chain now will help companies to seek improvements moving forward. Any problems identified need to be dealt with as early as possible to prevent delays and backlog, such as we have been experiencing in recent years. Transparency is what will encourage customer loyalty and increased knowledge of the supply chain will only support this. 


Please get in touch if you need help in shipping goods globally.