On Monday, August 24, leading research and advisory company Gartner, hosted a webinar titled, “Use Scenario Planning to Build Supply Chain Resilience” Gartner Senior Analyst, Kamala Raman led the discussion, which focused on how companies can design supply chain networks to balance conflicting objectives. Ms. Raman described how companies have always invested in improving resiliency and mitigating risk in their supply chains, however she noted that most investments in these areas have been made in silos. Ms. Raman underscored the idea that immense global uncertainty should not deter companies from more robust forms of planning.
Ms. Raman described how companies should consider adapting their supply chain networks. While globalization has increased efficiency, even before COVID-19 companies had started to shift to more regional supply chains due to changing tradeoffs between speed and service relative to cost. The trend towards regionalization of supply chains can be attributed to the realization that inflexible global supply chains are not ideal in terms of a company’s ability to respond to the needs of its customers. Additionally, as the cost gap between China and alternative manufacturing locations in emerging market diminishes, the idea of diversifying manufacturing centers has become an attractive option.
According to Ms. Raman, there is a growing need for flexibility, agility, sustainability and resiliency in supply chains as the world continues to face shocks and disruptions like COVID-19. While companies continue to navigate the COVID-19 trade landscape, they must consider a range of scenarios and actions in order to best protect their interests and business objectives.