For those of us that specialise in modelling supply chains the current climate is a complete unknown for us.

For the last 70 years of industrialisation, we have lived in periods of asynchronous growth. When the American economy was booming, Europe was in contraction and when Europe was expanding, the USA may have been dormant and the same was replicated around the world.  In a strange and interesting way, global economies almost acted like living and breathing organic entities that self-regulated.

Exactly two years ago all that was thrown in the air as the world went into lockdown. Global supply was immediately constrained, the factory of the world (the Pearl River Delta) shut down for Chinese New Year and normality hasn’t returned since. Meanwhile, like the rest of the world, our industrial sector here went into a two-year start stop cycle, resulting in global supply chain uncertainty. Even today we are hearing of factories and supply chains still suffering the impact of COVID and seeing significant disruption.

Of course, the opposite side of the supply chain coin is demand. Consumer electronics, e-vehicles and heavy industrial equipment have all seen demand rocket.

For the first quarter of 2022, the prospects of a vertical take-off of economies was looking very possible. The future was bright. But no sooner than we saw the dawn of a new growth rising over the horizon, the shadow of war appeared.

From a supply chain perspective this now creates both opportunity and challenges for us. The macro-economic environment is shifting daily and over the coming weeks we will see fuel, food and commodity prices rise, but what can we, the supply chain community, do?

An integrated supply chain is two sides of the same coin – supply and demand – so we need to take a 3SIXTY approach and focus on integrated planning.

  • Perform a review of your business. Use the 3SIXTY Business Impact Assessment review to perform a deep dive into your operation. What are the risks and constraints that you are facing?
  • Identify partners. Partners differ from suppliers and customers in that a true partnership is open and collaborative. Together we can solve the problems, apart we will drown under them.
  • Share the supply and demand picture with all partners. Right now, the most valuable commodity we have is information and data. Share your data, demand profiles and supply positions.
  • Work on a collaborative approach with partners and jointly workshop solutions.
  • Can we do more for our customers, can our supply partners do more for us? If we breakdown the traditional silos, are solutions now more apparent?
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate. In times like this over communication is better than under communicating. Communicate with all stakeholders, customers, supply partners, employees, shareholders, and banks.
  • Build an integrated planning process and use this crisis to fundamentally re-invent the integrated supply chain.

In the coming weeks we will experience a supply chain crisis that we haven’t seen in 70 years.  However, we have the ability to work through this. Take a 360 approach to supply chain planning.  3SIXTY are ready to support your journey.

For further information please contact David Mc Carthy on 085 859 2279 or davidmccarthy@3sixty.ie

Published On: March 11th, 2022 / Categories: Insights /
Brian O’Brien

Partner & Head of
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