3 Key Supply Chain Challenges and Their Solutions

The complexity of modern supply chains means that businesses are struggling to stay on top of the risks that may be hidden in the chain. So let’s look at three of the most significant current risks and what businesses can do to assess and mitigate them.

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1. Weather

Disruptive weather patterns seem to be an increasingly common phenomenon. Part of the mitigation will involve taking the chain apart and looking at weather-related threats to each part of it.

This is particularly the case where the supply chain is multinational and stretches across continents that are subject to hurricanes, floods or other events. But contingent natural events, such as volcanic eruptions close to depots, should be considered too.

And as summer 2018 has shown, extreme weather can arrive in the guise of an unusually hot dry summer. The Guardian reported in June that food-grade carbon dioxide, for fizzy drinks and beer, was running low as a result of hot weather in Ireland and the UK.

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2. Cyber Threats

The march of digitalisation, and of Artificial Intelligence, is transforming all industries. Problems that were previously impossible to deal with can now be avoided thanks to fast communications and better data. Unfortunately, there is a downside. As the supply chain becomes more interconnected, risk becomes more concentrated, and this is particularly the case with cyber attacks.

The solution may lie in the technology itself, as blockchain systems begin to be introduced. This technology allows transparency in terms of shared ledgers so that it’s not possible to introduce changes into agreed systems, contracts, quantities and so on. Indeed, in the future, https://www.rackzone.ie/shelving/industrial-residential-shelving industrial shelving Ireland and elsewhere may become “intelligent”.

3. “Uberisation”

Clients have looked at services such as Uber and wondered why they can’t have the same kind of casual, on-demand service for their freight movements. They’d like to replace formal arrangements and standard contracts with a faster, cheaper way of moving goods.

It’s certainly true that the Internet of Things will allow goods to travel with much less human intervention, since they will be able to communicate their location, status, condition and so on.

Some risks can also be seen as opportunities – but only if the supply chain and procurement managers are ready to take advantage of them.