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Are These Challenges Facing You This Year? Featured

Are These Challenges Facing You This Year? "follow @krisroller for more"

2020 might have come to an end, but the challenges we encountered, most of which were occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic, are still here with us. Although there seems to be some glimmer of hope as the vaccine continues being manufactured, there is an evident increase in political divisions, increasing economic inequality, and challenges in education as well as other sectors. Although these challenges have adversely impacted everyone, not all have faced the same issues. Here are the top challenges facing you this year in the supply chain:

1. Slow pace in digital transformation

Access to information is important for decision-making in the supply chain and logistics. Sadly, many companies in the supply chain industry are still trapped in manual systems or use a mix of manual and digital systems. This puts information in silos, therefore hampering decision-making. With COVID-19, digital transformation will continue to be an important area in 2021 than ever as it will help make more intelligent and informed decisions.  The challenge will be on companies to develop a way of accessing data by introducing technologies that enhance the collection and sharing of data, mostly in silos.

3. Continued limited data granularity

It was not until the coronavirus pandemic hit that many discovered that Tier 1 supply chains are not enough. Not many knew that the supply chain could come down tumbling within a short time until the coronavirus pandemic spread across the world. Moving forward, it will be crucial that organizations critically assess their supply chains and identify their vulnerabilities and weaknesses. Companies will be forced to focus on understanding the complexity of the supply chain, that will force them to stop concentrating on visibility alone. Although this is not easy, the occurrences of 2020 have shown that it is necessary.

2. Costing

With the damages caused by the coronavirus pandemic in many countries, the cost of raw materials continues going up mainly due to economic constraints. For operations to continue properly and quality items to be produced, adjustments have to be made to ensure everything works.  With these challenges in place, there is a need to improve the cost control measures by executing efficient plans characterized by constant monitoring. This is not always easy because of uncertainties in the supply chain industry.

3. Increased consumer demand for speed and quality service

With many choices now in their hands, consumers are becoming more demanding than ever. As such, companies need to be focused on offering the best products and excellent services. Quality and speed have become as critical as pricing or even more when it comes to customer’s purchasing decisions. Customers want their products to be delivered within the shortest time possible and must also meet the quality requirements. Similarly, the raw materials and finished products must meet the safety regulations demanded by the law. The products that succeed in the market are those that meet the customer requirement concerning quality, availability, and pricing. The supply chain is critical in ensuring these aspects are met.

4. Lack of actionable data and insights

Many businesses face a common challenge in the supply chain because of the lack of adequate information necessary for informed decision-making. The difficulty in the supply chain makes it hard to evaluate data from different sources as most of the data from various sources end up in different silos. Although the traditional ERPs are good at handling large volumes of data, various data handling operations from information gathering, processing, and storage make it hard to use the information to pinpoint trends in the supply chain market. Similarly, most analytics are good for reporting past occurrences but cannot be relied upon for predicting the future of the supply chain. 

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