Supply chain risk management for dealing with increasing uncertainty and global digitisation

Supply Chain

As we enter 2020, it is undeniable that the world is now more connected than ever generating a wealth of new opportunities.

This is particularly so within the supply chain sector, with those opportunities come new challenges. From political uncertainty to the constant change caused by rapid digitisation, risk management is key to the success of our supply chains.

In a globally connected world, single disruptive events can have far-reaching consequences. Seemingly isolated incidents such as the NotPetya cyber-attack of 2017 can cause paralysis to vital operations that ripple down the supply chain.

Business growth despite supply chain risks

The risky climate for supply chains, however, is not curbing the growth plans of UK firms. Many businesses in the UK are looking to expand, with 68% of respondents to a survey by Vuealta saying they were looking to expand into new markets. This is in spite of Brexit uncertainty having negative consequences on the growth of UK firms, with 49% respondents in that survey that the turmoil had negatively affected their business in the last 5 years

Managing supplier risk

Choosing a supplier will always involve a level of risk. A rigorous and thorough sourcing process will help you mitigate some of that risk. Knowing your marketplace inside out is the first step in choosing a supplier who can meet your requirements and deliver on your expectations. In a rapidly developing sector, new technologies and suppliers can offer solutions to UK business that are well-worth the risk. Keeping your ear to the ground and your finger on the pulse of your sector will help you determine which suppliers, and accompanying innovations, are right for you. Using multiple suppliers is also a good strategy for protecting your business in the case of a single supplier failure.

Getting ready for the future

One thing is for certain: transparency is the future of the supply chain. What this means for firms going forward is using a combination of blockchain, Internet of Things and AI to share information across the supply chain with end-to-end digital integration.

Waste reduction will also be a core focus for supply chains going forward, since green logistics offer the dual benefits of both cutting costs and winning more customers. This means being conscious of sustainable practices throughout your supply chain – from the processes your suppliers use to your own logistics operations.

Many firms are feeling the toll of uncertainty throughout their supply chains, but these three steps are powerful ways to minimise disruptions and future-proof your suppPleasely chain.