Survey Says That Supply Chain Resilience Will Get A Boost In 2021

COVID-19 has been a mixed bag for logistics companies like Titan Transline, but there’s no debate that 2020 has been a big year for the industry.

A survey of supply chain professionals took a look at what trends the industry is looking forward to after 2020 and noted that investing in better supply chain risk mitigation and resilience is on top of the list.

Association for Supply Chain Management Executive Vice President of Corporate Development Peter Bolstorff says that the added priority to supply chain resilience and flexibility is due to the coronavirus pandemic, which resulted in a lot of shocks across the industry.

Bolstorff, speaking during the North American Supply Chain Summit on December 15, 2020, says logistics are working on how to effectively connect to customers, how to quickly meet market demand, and how to make sure product portfolios are optimized to ensure both of that.

ASCM has about 300 corporate and 45,000 individual members spread out across the globe, and their data was taken from their annual poll of their members. For 2020, they narrowed it down a bit more, separating the rising trends from the falling trends, with supply chain resiliency being a rising trend.

Bolstorff says that their data shows that leaders in the industry were already investing in supply chain resilience way back in 2018; way before the pandemic even came rearing its head.

Resilient supply chains, Bolstorff explains, are better at balancing their supply and demand needs, with higher average factory utilization from November to March, as they’re able to understand and deal with the impact of the shocks to demand and supply from the pandemic.

On top of that, supply chain resilience also allowed for less, if not minimal, service disruptions and cost impacts to customers and shareholders.

Supply chain resilience isn’t the only trend that’s on the rise, according to the ASCM’s survey, advanced analytics and automation, digitization, and talent development are being given greater priority by logistics companies.  On the flip side, their data shows that the Internet of Things (IoT), corporate sustainability, as well as 3D printing have been on the decline a bit.

Cybersecurity, which ASCM’s survey usually sees at #1 or #2, has dropped down to #5, though Bolstorff explains that this is due to it being considered as a subset of the other trends, so it’s something that they have already.