We’ve learned that the changes the business world has faced throughout 2020 are not temporary or passing. Although we hope to see our current conflicts and disruptions resolve with time, our businesses must adapt for a future where uncertainty is the only constant. And preparing for this future starts now.
In many companies, much of this preparation starts with their supply chain. Supply chains were hit especially hard by the onset of the pandemic. As panic and uncertainty set in across the nation, people rushed to stock up on essentials and non-perishables, leaving grocery stores empty – and suppliers scrambling to pick up the slack.
With sudden closures, new safety guidelines, and rapid shifts in customer demands, many supply chains failed to keep up with the unprecedented levels of pressure. But those who were able to survive through the worst of it learned a valuable lesson: for the supply chains of the future to remain competitive, achieving operational agility is critical.
Although profitability, productivity, and customer satisfaction remain important, the Covid-19 era has proven that growth in these areas is preceded by the need for business continuity and resiliency in the face of disruption. Executives across industries have reprioritized their business goals to reflect this sentiment. According to a recent study conducted by Harvard Business Review Analytics Services, since the Covid-19 outbreak, 53% of business leaders surveyed said that improving business continuity and resiliency is a primary business goal, marking a 33-percentage point change from before the pandemic.
Leaders must reflect this change in business priority by ensuring resiliency throughout their supply chain management practices. The process starts with reflecting on the elements of your operations that have left supply chains vulnerable in the past.
Chances are that your supply chain is comprised of hundreds, if not thousands, of unique processes, many of them being highly time-consuming and inefficient. Processes that are manual and rigid lead to inflexible operations, which become problematic as soon as your business needs to run in conditions that are less than optimal.
After identifying inefficiencies, finding ways to automate and digitize these processes is the next step to building resiliency within your supply chain.
Not only will automation and digitization save you hours on manual labor, saving your business time and money in the long run, but it will also contribute to your business’s visibility into operations. Having end-to-end visibility will help further strengthen your supply chain’s resiliency, as access to real-time insights will allow people in your business to identify risks and find solutions before issues arise. Whether it’s switching to a different supplier or vendor on a moment’s notice or having to change your workflows to comply with new safety guidelines, you can pivot your processes to overcome these roadblocks swiftly and with accuracy, ensuring the continuity of your operations.
True digital transformation involves more than just the implementation of new technologies. It’s the transformation of people and processes, too. That means that change can’t just be siloed to a single area of your supply chain if you want to achieve business resiliency that lasts.
Low-code application development platforms give businesses the tools they need to transform in all these areas – it enables people throughout the business to modernize the processes that they know best, establishing innovation within your team’s culture and as part of people’s jobs. To achieve true operational agility, and to build resilience that can withstand even the most unforeseen circumstances, this transformation is essential.