With shoppers finding much of what they want online, the future of the brick-and-mortar store can seem bleak. Such major retailers as J.C. Penney, Lowe’s, Gap and Family Dollar, among many others, have announced plans to close at least some stores across the United States this year.
More consumers are shopping online year-round, which means the holidays are becoming less important for retailers when it comes to hitting their yearly numbers. The ease of online shopping is driven by consistent deal days. The “Amazon Effect” continues to take hold and influences retailers like Walmart to stay competitive year round with online initiatives. These trends pull shoppers’ dollars forward and away from November and December. It means there is a constant demand for goods all year long, and that supply chains will have to adapt to this year-round “holiday-like” pressure to prepare and meet consumer expectations.
In the current connected world, the supply chain faces a wide range of threats, both physical and cyber. The two have different implications for organizations. While physical threats can be more obvious and blatant in supply chains, cybersecurity threats are less noticeable and highly unpredictable and as such, they can cause massive damage to an organization. Think of terrorists attacking oil infrastructure and interfering with the supply chain. This is supply chain terrorism that is now one of the worst crimes. For this reason, the Federal Communications Commission has come up with new rules that regulate telecommunications devices that are used in the US. The recent action included the reduction of telecom infrastructure from China. This move is geared towards identifying, evaluating and addressing transactions that involve these hardware devices.
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