Importance of Supply Chain Resilience in the Modern World

Risk management has been a problem for as long as supply chains have existed. Because of the interdependence of all its connections, even a minor issue in one isolated region has the potential to jeopardize a whole global supply chain. As a result, when major global trends and events occur, the potential for widespread supply chain disruption is enormous.

Global supply chain risks and market disruptions have reached an all-time high. The most notable of them is the COVID-19 pandemic. In a 2020 survey, the Institute for Supply Management discovered that 95% of companies faced operational issues due to the pandemic. As a result, business executives all around the globe believe that if they want to be more resilient and competitive in the present market, they need to modernize and make significant changes to their supply chain strategy.

Other recent factors that have had a significant impact on traditional supply chain practices include the fast pace of change in consumer behaviors and a pretty unstable trade and political environment.

In the last ten years, e-commerce spending has tripled, and internet shopping had increased by 149% in 2020 compared to the previous year. With the growth of e-commerce, there has been a rise in customer demand for faster delivery and more personalized shopping experiences. The Amazon Effect refers to the growing expectation for same-day delivery and its effect on businesses and logistical networks. To be resilient enough to react to these rising demands, supply chain managers have had to make fast and significant modifications to their logistics and warehousing networks, as well as discover new ways to collaborate with third-party fulfillment partners.

Even before the impact of COVID-19, American businesses were attempting to reduce their dependence on foreign manufacturers and suppliers. Foreign tariffs and trade policies had become more unpredictable by 2019, and businesses were seeking technological solutions to make the supply chains more self-sufficient and resilient. As a result, integrating digital transformation and Industry 4.0 technology into supply chain operations is quickly becoming a top concern for global business leaders.

How does Supply Chain Resilience Work?

A flexible contingency plan and the ability to react swiftly to operational disruptions are important characteristics of effective supply chain management. However, to be truly resilient, a supply chain must be able to predict and anticipate disruptions and, in many cases, avoid them entirely.

  • Strategic supply chain planning is an important step in achieving resilience because it synchronizes all supply chain components and increases visibility and agility. Supply and demand needs are better understood, and production is synchronized due to supply chain planning. This integrated, forward-thinking approach assists businesses in better anticipating problems, reducing the impact of supply chain disruptions, and improving overall operations.
  • When a business has the digital systems to analyze and make sense of Big Data, it significantly improves supply chain resilience. Artificial intelligence-enabled systems can curate disparate data sets from across the business and the globe. To discover trends and opportunities, news, competitor activity, sales reports, and even customer feedback can be examined together. The system's connected devices are constantly monitored, providing real-time insights about where and how processes can be automated and improved. For instance, AI, machine learning, and modern databases acquire and handle Big Data and analyze and learn from it in an almost infinite number of ways. This enables intelligent automation across the network and provides supply chain managers with the real-time insights they require to respond quickly to disruption and unexpected events.
  • Supply chain managers have traditionally sought to limit the number of partners and suppliers in their network to minimize operational and logistical complexity. This approach is based on the stability of the social, environmental, and political systems. Unexpected disruptions in one region can slow or even stop network operations across the board. Supply chain resilience technologies, such as blockchain, sensors, and advanced analytics, enable supply chain managers to monitor complex partnerships and supplier contracts even in the most remote parts of their network.
  • Profitability in the supply chain has always been dependent on minimizing excess and keeping inventories as lean as possible. Capacity and inventory buffers are expensive, and supply chain managers have often bet against disruptions to keep prices low. When the pandemic struck, many businesses discovered the real cost of the gamble. Supply chain operations can involve on-demand manufacturing, virtual inventories, and predictive demand forecasting using digital supply chain technologies to remain resilient, even in times of unexpected disruption.

Benefits of a Resilient Supply Chain

Finding a successful balance between supply and demand is a significant issue for any supply chain manager in an increasingly competitive market. Many businesses that have cut costs on diversification, supply chain technology, and other resilience measures have lately discovered the true cost of those choices. However, when businesses engage in diversification, supply chain technologies, and other resilience measures, they can achieve a variety of business benefits, including:

  • More efficient operations: Better resilience often results in less risk and a greater capacity to invest in innovation and growth. For example, according to a 2020 global business analysis conducted by Bain and Company, businesses that prioritized their investment in supply chain resilience had up to 60% quicker product development cycles and were able to increase production capacity by up to 25%.
  • Enhanced productivity: Resilient supply chain solutions lead to the overall system increased productivity. According to a McKinsey 2020 survey, supply chain leaders from across the world report increased productivity due to resilient supply chain systems, and 93% of those surveyed plan to prioritize resilient supply chain strategies for investment in the next year.
  • Risk reduction: Supply chain activities are often the most vulnerable to risk and loss in many businesses. Supply chains, by nature, are geographically distributed and functionally complex. As a result, supply chains are particularly vulnerable to risk. Resilient supply chain technologies minimize risk by providing insight into all network operations and enabling companies to improve and adjust their processes and logistics in real-time.

Technologies for an Agile Supply Chain

Digital transformation and modern supply chain technology provide businesses with the resilience and competitive advantage they need to react swiftly to disruptions and opportunities.

  • Artificial intelligence (AI): AI-powered supply chain systems can offer deep procedural and operational insights by gathering and analyzing data from many sources. Predictive analytics and Big Data analysis can assist in predicting risk and demand and recommending measures and reactions in the company.
  • Machine learning: Machine learning enables the discovery of patterns in supply chain data and the identification of these influential factors - all while constantly learning. This enables supply chain managers to react fast with the finest workflows and operational strategies available.
  • Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT): The IIoT network in a supply chain comprises connected devices and objects with sensors and unique IDs that allow them to transmit and receive digital data. They collect information and communicate with the central system. AI can analyze and understand this data to enable quick decisions and intelligent automation of supply chain operations and procedures.
  • Additive (3D) printing: Smart factories can quickly reprogram 3D printers to produce specific products on-demand without disrupting regular business operations in the long run. The accessibility of potential virtual inventories enables supply chains to defend themselves against disruption.
  • Robots and autonomous things: Robots and drones, which are intelligently automated for speed, efficiency, and accuracy, can adapt their operations on the go to meet quickly changing requirements. They also reduce the risk of harm by eliminating overly repetitive or dangerous tasks from human workers.
  • Modern databases: The resilient supply chain solutions rely on Big Data, advanced analytics, and real-time insights from modern databases. Supply chain technology can be improved to operate faster and most resilient when equipped with a modern ERP system and an in-memory database.

Resilience means more than just surviving a disruption in operations. A fully resilient supply chain and businesses survive hardship and use it to innovate and improve their business. Building a resilient supply chain is very important in this modern era because disruptions like a pandemic, wars, climate change, etc., are occurring a lot these days. A resilient supply chain helps businesses to survive and thrive even during tough times. To read more about ways to boost supply chain performance, click here.


What is supply chain resilience?

Supply chain resilience refers to the supply chain's capacity to be prepared for unexpected risk events, react and recover swiftly to potential disruptions, and grow by shifting to a new, more desirable state in order to improve customer service, market share, and financial performance.

How is supply chain resilience measured?

A supply chain's resilience index is calculated by aggregating its company's resilience index. Given that supply chain company's performance influences overall supply chain performance, supply chain resilience should be measured using the companies' resilience index.


Royal Wagenborg

Welcome to Royal Wagenborg - the experts in international transport by water, by road, and by air. With our own vessels and lorries, warehousing, tug services, and other facilities we always provide a solution for every demand for transport - expertly and with dedication. 'Impossible' is not in our vocabulary. The best people and the best equipment are here, waiting for you.

Warehousing and Distribution

4 Ways of Using Advanced Analytics in Supply Chain Management

Article | June 16, 2023

The complexity of today’s supply chain has resulted in a highly fragmented supply chain ecosystem. Whether it is a global pandemic or an ongoing war, streamlining the moving parts in the supply chain management system is an immense feat in the current climate. The resulting shortage of materials, disruption of transportation, and delays have complicated the supply chain even further. Add to it the expectation to minimize expenses, optimize inventory, and enable quality and customer expectations, and stakeholders at every level of the supply chain are inundated with challenges. This is where using advanced analytics in supply chain can be a game changer for many manufacturers. It can help them gain a deeper insight into their operations and how the supply chain is moving. How Supply Chain Analytics Enriches Supply Chain Management A 360-degree view of the supply chain is crucial for supply chain leaders. A lack of insight can cause costly delays and avoidable disruptions. Obtaining complete visibility in supply chain management, on the other hand, can be difficult. The immense volume of data that many organizations have to deal with makes it difficult to gain proper insight. Supply chain analytics tools help in gaining a better sense of the aggregated data from different parts of the supply chain, such as procurement, ERP in supply chain management, warehousing management, shipping and logistics management, and many more. The more accurate the data is, the simpler it is to use advanced supply chain management analytics to forecast, predict, and plan better in order to maximize the supply chain’s capabilities. Optimizing the Supply Chain: 3 Ways to Do so with Analytics With the range of analytics applications in supply chain in use today, manufacturers have the opportunity to completely transform how to view, manage and strategize. Here are five data analytics supply chain tools to consider in the pursuit of optimization. Demand Forecasting Inventory management is at the heart of supply chain optimization. Not calibrating the inventory stock based on demand and supply for bestselling products and those that don’t move fast can cause either an overstocking or understocking problem. Either way, forecasting the right balance is difficult to achieve, but data analytics can make it simpler. The lack of the right products in stock can heavily impact the bottom line. According to a survey by Logility, 36% of supply chain experts consider inventory optimization the primary reason for adopting analytics. An integrated mapping of retail sales, inventory levels, and the flow of goods will lead to accurate demand forecasting. This data can empower organizations to: Strategize sales promotions Define product pricing Maximize budgets Predict accurate inventory levels Inventory management has a cascading effect on the supply chain, and advanced demand forecasting has helped many organizations achieve an optimum level of inventory for the right products. Predictive Warehousing Maintenance Machine Learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT) have been emerging technologies on the supply chain management landscape. By using a mix of these technologies, it is possible for manufacturers to deploy predictive maintenance in warehousing. Predictive maintenance is the process of assessing data generated from the past and in real-time to determine patterns and identify equipment failure and maintenance schedule before a breakdown occurs. This helps manufacturers to: Avoid heavy repair costs Plan spare part supply Slash downtime from equipment failure Eliminate production delays In addition to reducing production bottlenecks, predictive maintenance gives businesses the ability to manage their equipment and optimize their shelf-life. Warehousing Efficiency At the warehouse phase of the supply chain, analytics can help manage the supply chain in more than just one way. The warehouse workflow is just as crucial, as it facilitates a clear view of the condition of goods as well as the optimization of the warehouse space. In addition to warehouse space maximization, quality control is another challenge that warehousing management addresses. Supply chain analytics can enhance warehousing efficiency by: Ensuring the correct storage of goods based on their weight, fragility, and perishability Aligning with resource management like equipment, vehicles Identifying disruptions to storage before they occur One of the advantages of supply chain analytics is getting a deep insight into the warehouse’s operation so manufacturers can identify gaps and take steps to make it more efficient. Transportation Tracking Real-time analytics of transportation and logistics is a crucial piece in the puzzle of supply chain management. For example, the data generated in relation to fuel consumption, weather conditions, and even traffic patterns can help organizations boost their logistics and carrier management. It can help them to: Schedule deliveries Determine better routes Evaluate current routes Strategize their shipping schedule To Wrap it Up To put it simply, a deep insight into the supply chain, inventory management, and warehouse operations is a great way to ensure the supply chain is on track. Effective supply chain management software is an asset for an organization when it is able to leverage the insights and make well-informed strategies to further optimize the supply chain.

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Warehousing and Distribution

Predicting the Future of the Logistics Industry

Article | July 11, 2023

Introduction From warehouse robots to delivery drones, the supply chain is experiencing a tremendous upheaval. AI promises a totally autonomous and self-organized future supply chain. A fleet of vehicles utilizing a swarm algorithm can enhance cargo yard throughput; a trusted peer-to-peer ledger on blockchain architecture could change compliance in the sector; and wearables, mobile robotics, and machine learning technologies could speed up order fulfilment. IOT e-brokerage solutions can link shops to couriers and transporters with a click. Tomorrow's supply chain will be leaner, quicker, and self-organized. A few innovative technologies will fuel this unparalleled rate of change over the next 15 years. Here are the major technologies that are shaping the future of the logistics industry. Logistics Technologies for the Future Shipment Tracking Systems Previously, customers ordered shipments, had an anticipated arrival date, and then were kept in the dark until they chose to call. Customers can now access shipping and tracking systems around-the-clock due to developments in the internet and software. This not only enhances the customer experience (cx), but it also saves the business time and money. Internet of Things (IoT) The IoT reduces costs and delays by minimizing hazards in the supply chain. Cabs, cargo ships, trains, etc., have sensors that link to an alarm system or dispatcher. These sensors analyze and communicate information to the crew, who learns about hidden threats. IoT isn't a new technology, but it continues to influence logistics by improving in-transit visibility and delivery. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) RFID technology has been used for a few years to monitor inventories labor-efficiently. A product tag or sensor produces radio waves. The company processes the data. RFID tags are similar to barcodes, but their faster information transport and data processing appeal to companies and the direction of technology. Many organizations use RFID tags to track containers in warehouses. Enhanced GPS Accuracy Almost everyone utilizes GPS on their vehicles or smartphones. These devices' accuracy has improved over time, assisting lost drivers and enhancing the supply chain. By monitoring truck locations and boosting hauls with current traffic data, GPS increases efficiency and customer satisfaction. Closing Lines Unprecedented times have produced unprecedented transformations that will last for generations. Changing demographics, technology improvements, and COVID-19 impacts are altering global supply networks. We must understand the driving factors and act on what we learn to adapt and rise to the situation. For the sake of our current workforce and future generations.

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Supply Chain

Boosting Efficiency with Carrier Management

Article | May 22, 2023

Carrier management systems have undergone much evolution thanks to the exponential development in shipping and logistics technology. Although its primary mission was to assign, control, and track shippers and carriers, the industry's post-pandemic trends have reflected a variety of new best practices. Traditionally, many carrier management systems were manually operated and made extensive use of paper processes that didn’t provide perks like real-time data, reporting functionalities, or the visibility to make informed decisions. Today’s carrier management systems comprise these features and go even further. They offer tangible improvements and advantages that impact the bottom line. Here are three things you should look for in a carrier management solution to make sure your digital transformation goes as well as possible. Support for a Diverse Range of Carriers To effectively manage your carriers, it’s essential to be able to keep up with technologies used by everything from small to large carriers. The ability to support modern technologies and EDI that are routinely used by larger carriers while also offering online portals and mobile-readiness is integral. A platform that supports a diverse range of carrier sizes helps streamline processes and eliminate friction between operational groups. It also offers all carriers on the system the ability to stay in the loop and access the same data for load and freight boards to keep the freight moving. Performance Mapping Capabilities The ability to track performance and keep an eye on crucial metrics is an important consideration for a carrier management system. Real-time data bolsters carrier relationships and equips you with the ability to control and manage factors like load capacity, location of your fuel and fleet, and intimate teams on issues like inventory, sourcing, forecasting, and dispatching in real-time. Not only does this positively impact shippers, but carriers as well. With an overview into their own performance, carriers are empowered to course-correct and respond to sudden hurdles in time. Shippers must be able to get access to the following metrics in order to have the upper hand in rate negotiations with carriers: On-time performance Data accuracy Compliance Status update timelines Collaboration-Friendly Platforms A flexible solution that allows shippers to work collaboratively ensures strategic flexibility. Monitoring the performance across different modes including truckload, intermodal, and LTL as well as parcel consolidators and shippers. Today, carrier management systems and other digital solutions are able to integrate these modes and offer superior capabilities when it comes to receiving updates from all modes in real-time. When combined with cloud-based solutions, carrier management can take efficiency to a whole new level. To Conclude The success of your supply chain and company depends on your partnerships with your carriers, which can also have a significant impact on your ROI, particularly as the market continues to transform further towards third party partnerships. In order to foster carrier performance, carrier management should be a significant part of your strategy.

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Software and Technology, Supply Chain

The Role of ERP in Supply Chain Management

Article | August 3, 2022

In the past couple of years, supply chain management has witnessed massive disruption. The implications of the pandemic have put pressure on manufacturers to revisit and reimagine how they manage their supply chains. This is why ERP software is so mission critical in supply chain management. It not only helps supply chain chiefs reduce overhead costs but also enhance efficiencies and timely deliveries.Here are a few ways ERP plays a role in supply chain management to keep it moving. Complete Visibility Having a 360-degree view of the supply chain is integral to making the right decisions regarding procurement and purchase of materials and inventory. It also allows suppliers to have complete control and course correct when necessary. The insight into the complete supply cycle allows suppliers to respond to customer queries better. Inventory Tracking ERPs are truly a one stop shop for manufacturers. They feature extensive inventory tracking on one system so manufacturers are in the loop about inventory control and can better optimize their inventory and resources. For manufacturers it is crucial to know where their inventory is, what has been shipped, what is on hand at all times. With ERPs, it becomes cheaper to keep a stock of the inventory and place orders when it’s running low. Vendor Performance Vendor performance is an essential aspect of supply chain management. Being able to compare vendors, measure certain quality and quantity metrics and identify bottle necks help suppliers choose the right vendor as well as gives purchasing departments the power to negotiate for better pricing by consolidating purchase. ERPs allow suppliers to do all the above and more. Procurement Procurement of goods can be a complex process if done without the right tools. It also impacts the whole supply chain so it is doubly imperative to ensure the procuring and supply of goods is on time. This is especially true in an environment of custom manufacturing. Add to that the requirement of procuring products with lengthy lead times, manufacturers need to take into considerations product that need to be ordered long before they are even designed. ERPs allow manufacturers to keep all departments including engineering and warehousing to work in sync and plan to procure goods on time. Real-time Reports Reporting is labor intensive and can be inefficient when it comes to gathering and processing data. With ERPs, manufacturers can generate reports in real-time and all manual data collection processes are replaced with automation, saving time and money in viewing the insights into the movement of products in the supply chain. It enables manufacturers to get a better understanding and make timely decisions that improve the overall efficiency of the supply chain. To Conclude ERP systems offer endless opportunities for manufacturers to improve their processes, save time and resources and optimize and enhance inventory planning. With the right tools, it is possible to establish supply chain management that outperforms and is resilient even in disruptive times.

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Royal Wagenborg

Welcome to Royal Wagenborg - the experts in international transport by water, by road, and by air. With our own vessels and lorries, warehousing, tug services, and other facilities we always provide a solution for every demand for transport - expertly and with dedication. 'Impossible' is not in our vocabulary. The best people and the best equipment are here, waiting for you.

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