Mark George, North American lead for supply chain and operations strategy with Accenture, lays out seven steps that companies can take to repurpose their supply chains and demonstrate strong corporate values in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Few companies have remained untouched by the spread of the disease worldwide. But the ones that are better prepared to manage the crisis have taken action on a number of fronts.
Most important is the need to preserve the extended workforce. That means promoting the health and well-being of supply-chain workers, attending to their mental, emotional and physical states. In addition, ensuring employee connectivity, a time when workers might be dispersed across multiple locations, is essential.
Companies should be looking for ways to purpose their capabilities in line with the current and future needs of customers. Supply chains hold enormous power in their ability to bring good to society, a role that has become evident in recent weeks. They need to be defining how they think about social responsibility.
In recent years, supply chains have become increasingly global in reach. Now they’re finding it necessary to “think local.” The goal is to reallocate resources in support of local communities across the supply chain.
The security of supply networks must be tightened up. Original equipment manufacturers, retailers and distributors have to get closer to their suppliers, better understand their capabilities, and provide them with more accurate forecasts.
Analytics, automation and digital platforms will play an increasingly vital role in supply chains in the years ahead. They’re needed to model potential disruptions and responses.
The coronavirus pandemic is providing companies and supply chains with a “once-in-a-generation” opportunity to identify the existence and causes of points of failure, as well as how they can be strengthened, says George. He stresses the need to “reshape for the future.”
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