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How to make supply chain operations more resilient in 2021?

How to make supply chain operations more resilient in 2021?

Resilience is a word which has been used with increasing frequency as 2020 has proceeded. It is undoubtably a quality found in those companies who have coped well with the changes which COVID-19 and the subsequent ‘new normal’ has thrown at us all.

But, whilst business will eventually return to operating close to what they were pre-pandemic, the need for - and value of - resilience will be something which will remain with us well into the future. Indeed, on the wish list of stakeholders it will be higher than it’s ever been before. That’s because, when we emerge from this initial ‘survival’ phase, there will be a need to switch the mindset to ‘thrive’. The real challenge will be doing this with the knowledge that future disruption (and it’s known repercussions within the supply chain) is a very real possibility.

Innovation and Resilience go hand in hand

The link between innovation and resilience is one which is widely recognised. Both involve a positive adaptation to change - moving with, or indeed ahead of, the times and staying relevant. Despite the common acceptance of this idea, supply chain businesses have still tended to be slow to invest in the technology required to ensure the level of resilience we know is now a necessity.

As the dust settles from the storm that was COVID-19 there will be much discussion and planning for the future. With weaknesses exposed and contingencies tested, the case for the implementation of resilience-building innovation is stronger than ever. Whether it is the digitalisation of paper processes, the application of predictive analytics or the building of real-time track and trace capabilities, technological solutions will now be in high demand.

Achieving efficiencies, stabilising operations and reducing costs

Visibility is key when building resilience, not only to enhance the client experience but also to predict any risks in the supply chain, react quickly and avoid disruption. Manual processes are no longer sufficient to deliver the degree of visibility which is required to achieve the consistency, accuracy and efficiency now demanded within warehousing, transport and logistics.

Innovative automation is the answer, and it will be the route through which businesses will secure continuity and increase efficiency to realise real competitive advantage.

It’s no longer simply about the affordability

The real question of 2021 will be ‘Can we afford not to invest in innovation?’

The decision to adopt the latest technology to increase resilience is no longer simply a question of Return on Investment. Yes, there are cost benefits associated with automation which are well-known, but in the longer term it is perhaps the softer benefits where the true value lies. Reliance on human capability alone is no longer a viable option; a manual workforce supported by innovative and intelligent technology is the approach which the thriving, resilient enterprises will have taken.

PLM Global have the solutions to build resilience

If you are already looking to 2021 and considering your options to face the new challenges head-on then come and speak with the team at PLM Global or visit

We specialise in the supply, repair and maintenance of hand-held capture devices, mobile and EPoS hardware, with a range of solutions to help you make your implementation plans a reality.

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