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Supply chain disruption dominated 2021

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Supply chain disruption dominated 2021

Supply chain disruption dominated 2021, according to research from Blue Yonder which suggests that 97% of organisations faced disruption over the last 12 months.
The disruption has forced a re-evaluation for many, with the supply chain becoming a priority for nearly two-thirds of businesses (63%). Meanwhile, 83% have increased investment into improving technology, new skills and defining a new supply chain strategy.

Nearly six in ten (59%) said they faced customer delays, 44% endured stalled production and 40% suffered staff shortages.

The research gathered insights from 250 supply chain decision-makers from the UK and found that uncertainty remains. More than a third (37%) of organisations are concerned about the long-term implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on the supply chain. This is followed by Brexit (24%), a pressure to be more sustainable (19%), the changing regulatory landscape (12%) and a lack of investment (7%).

“Businesses are right to feel concerned when it comes to their supply chain,” says Wayne Snyder, vice president, retail industry strategy, EMEA, Blue Yonder. “In 2021 we saw unprecedented disruption, and as we look ahead, several macro factors on the horizon are likely to drive further interference.”

The pressures have forced companies to invest over the last 12 months, with 1 in 10 organisations (11%) investing more than $25 million.

86% of organisations invested in technology, followed by developing new skills and defining a new supply chain strategy (60%).

More than half of organisations (58%) also invested in the sustainability of the supply chain.

When asked about the technology that would have the most significant impact in reducing disruption, two thirds (67%) of organisations believe that having the ability to view and manage the supply chain from end-to-end will help them manage disruption better. This is followed by advancements in AI technology (53%), new types of delivery options powered by the likes of robots and drones (43%), and the use of technology to better manage their workforce (42%).

“These stats highlight just how vital new technology is in reducing risk across the entire supply chain,” says Michael Feindt, Strategic Advisor, Blue Yonder. “Especially considering the fact that 71% of organisations have implemented new technology over the last 12 months to reduce disruption in the future.

The study also showed that more than two-thirds (68%) of companies state that planning, forecasting, and inventory management were their most important areas for technology investment, with end-to-end supply chain management and AI technology deemed critical by more than half (53%).”

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