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How agility and conscious consumers drive the supply chain

December 10, 2020

2020 was a challenging year for supply chain management. Thanks to the global health crisis, the cracks in the supply chain’s old model, which experts have been predicting for years, are starting to show. This has created the need for a new normal. The supply chain needs to improve its resilience and agility while examining how it impacts the environment, customers, as well as other supply chains.

This blog will look at 2021 supply chain drivers and how supply chains will operate going forward.

Resilience as an agile enabler of new supply chain business models

Supply chain operations tend to involve a lot of touchpoints, time constraints, and huge workloads. Despite the constant changes the operations side face, the supply chain itself is pretty rigid and unchanging. It is essential to think about how sudden changes, for example, in packaging standards, supplier bankruptcy, or unexpected changes to regulations can affect your business.

When you commit to integrated digital data processes, you remove friction from your day-to-day operations. By looking holistically at bottlenecks, you see how these frictions impact the customer experience, your organization’s integrity, and digital adoption readiness. This process leverages the data of different functions and analyzes the connections and impacts, supporting decision-making and corrective action development within seconds, using up-to-date system data. This helps address any bottlenecks and improve the visibility, leading to less frictions within your supply chain operations, while at the same time providing a more agile supply chain.

Having an agile supply chain can be a key differentiator during an economic shift, ensuring you gain and retain customers no matter what state the economy is in. However, in order to create agility, the first question should be, what does improving resilience look like for supply chains? Does it mean creating more autonomy within operations or establishing more partnerships within the ecosystem? Perhaps it means focusing on using a more diverse group of local suppliers? Nevertheless, no matter how you define improving resilience, a lack of action in this area leaves you vulnerable to outside influences.

Driving your supply with purpose

Today, consumers are looking to engage with and buy from sustainable and ethical companies. They expect vendors to engage in fair trade, protect human rights, and act sustainability. It is vital for your organization to rise to meet these new requirements from consumers if you want to stay relevant. How you embrace these new requirements will help you set and achieve your organization’s supply chain goals, while redefining how to add value moving forward.

Redirecting your focus on quality over quantity

Due to the number of products and brands available today, the customer and their requirements are at the center of the supply chain. This means by focusing on quality and speed of delivery, as well as environmental impact and stance on human rights and fair trade, prove your integrity.

Internally, supply chains need to focus on creating functional integration and reducing friction between the functions while at the same time building the resilience that enables transformation.

Read the other blog in this series:

To learn more about how Capgemini’s Digital Supply Chain practice can help your organization build a resilient, agile, and frictionless supply chain, contact: 

Jörg Junghanns  leverages innovation and a strategic and service mindset to help clients transform their supply chain operations into a growth enabler.