Press Release


ORLANDO, Fla., June 6, 2022

Gartner Identifies Five Focus Areas for Chief Supply Chain Officers to Include in Their Offset Strategy

Analysts Discuss Shifting Mindsets and Pursuing Unconventional Solutions at Gartner Supply Chain Symposium/Xpo, June 6-8, in Orlando

To ensure future success and achieve competitive advantage, chief supply chain officers (CSCOs) must prepare offset strategies for five key challenges brought about by accelerating change, according to Gartner, Inc.

In the opening keynote at the Gartner Supply Chain Symposium/Xpo, taking place here through Wednesday, Ken Chadwick, vice president analyst with the Gartner Supply Chain practice identified the five focus areas as: cognitive overload, customer experience, energy instability, technology change and supply chain cyber risk.

“Offset strategies are a proven way to shift the competitive landscape by applying unconventional or untried approaches to leverage individual strengths,” said Chadwick. “If the offset strategy focuses on the most critical matters of our time, supply chain leaders can reap immediate rewards.”

The five important challenges when designing an offset strategy include: 

Cognitive Overload

The pandemic, its resulting supply chain disruptions, and the shift to remote and hybrid work models increased the complexity of work and changed collaboration and decision-making which made many employees feel overwhelmed. Instead of adding more complexity to the situation, supply chain leaders should aim to simplify how work is done.

“We’ve seen great successes with constrained decision-making. This model deliberately reduces the number of people involved in a decision and the time people have to gather information and make the decision. CSCOs can also outsource some decision-making to artificial intelligence,” Chadwick added.

Customer Expectations

To offset rapidly evolving customer needs, supply chain leaders must shift from a “Just in Time” mindset that primarily focuses on internal cost and efficiency goals, to a “Just the Customer” mindset, focusing externally on customer needs. This shift will provide supply chains the opportunity to reposition its commercial contribution to the business to one that delivers both optimization and drives business growth.

Energy Instability

Disruptive events, such as the Texas ice storm in 2021, showed that relying on a singular supply of energy can cause failure. Humanities’ need to consume energy is also having an impact on the environment. One way for CSCOs to address this challenge is to enable distributed, sustainable energy management, where the power demand of factories, fleets and other parts of the value chain is supplied by a distributed network consisting of renewables, micro grids and battery storage.

Technology Change

According to Gartner research, the biggest challenge facing supply chain leaders in the technology space is not necessarily the technology itself. It is embracing and adapting to new technologies and envisioning new ways of doing business. That’s why CSCOs must be at the forefront of change and inspire their employees to use and trust the next generation of technology.

Supply Chain Cyber Risk

Gartner research has found that over 80% of companies experienced a significant cyber security incident in the last two years. This development is driven by connected technology networks and cyber-physical systems, such as sensors and smart vehicles. Supply chain leaders can react to this evolving risk by partnering with the chief information security officer to build a cyber security framework.

“CSCOs cannot control if, or when, they get hit by a cyber-attack. What they can control are their own decisions on investments and actions. Supply chain leaders must realize that cybersecurity is not just an IT issue. It includes making decisions on partners, conducting realistic risk assessments and integrating a cybersecurity perspective into everything they do,” Chadwick concluded. 

More information about the future of supply chain is available in the eBook “Reinventing Supply Chain for the Future”.

Highlights and announcements from Day 1 of Gartner Supply Chain Symposium/Xpo are available here

About Gartner Supply Chain Symposium/Xpo

Gartner Supply Chain Symposium/Xpo delivers the must-have insights, strategies and frameworks for CSCOs and supply chain leaders to drive impact within their organizations. Supply chain leaders will gather to gain a strategic view of the trends disrupting their business and the insights and frameworks they can use to prepare for disruption, enable digital transformation and build sustainability as a competitive advantage.

Upcoming dates and locations for Gartner Supply Chain Symposium/Xpo include:

September 27-29: London, U.K.

About the Gartner Supply Chain Practice

The Gartner Supply Chain Practice provides actionable, objective insights for supply chain leaders and their teams, so they can respond to disruption and innovate for the future through leading-edge supply chain management practices. Additional information is available at Follow news and updates from the Gartner Supply Chain Practice on Twitter and LinkedIn using #GartnerSC. Visit the Supply Chain Newsroom for more information and insights.

Media Contacts

Latest Releases

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) delivers actionable, objective insight to executives and their teams. Our expert guidance and tools enable faster, smarter decisions and stronger performance on an organization’s mission critical priorities. To learn more, visit