Supply Chain Disruption

Build agility and resilience in the end-to-end supply chain

Future of Supply Chain: 5 Trends to Act on Now

Gartner research reveals that 38% of supply chain leaders are concerned that their supply chains are not very well positioned to handle the challenges of the next two years. Are you prepared?

Download the Future of Supply Chain eBook for:

  • 5 post-pandemic changes for supply chain leaders to act on now.
  • A deep dive into the results of our Future of Supply Chain survey of 500+ global supply chain leaders.
  • Roadmap/next steps for supply chain transformation.

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    The most effective way you can make decisions in these times of crisis is moving to decision-making empowerment – the right people making the right decisions.

    Leslie Nicholson

    SVP, Supply Chain Operations & Digital Business Transformation Lead, Nestle Canada

    Supply Chain Disruption is Constant and Impactful

    A supply chain disruption that originates abroad is still keenly felt by your customers, your company, and your supply chain right here at home. Supply chain disruptions may stem from natural disasters, global health pandemics, political uncertainty, economic upheaval, cyber and terrorist attacks, supplier threats, and rapid swings in consumer preferences and demand. Supply chain disruption is no longer an “if”, nor is it really a “when” since it’s both omnipresent and unpredictable at the same time. The question you must answer is: Are we able to mitigate the next global supply chain disruption that comes our way? 

    3 Keys to Mitigating Supply Chain Disruption

    Top supply chain organizations experience less than one-third of the supply chain disruptions of their peers thanks to best-practice sensing capabilities, continuous review and rapid response, all enabled by innovative technology solution and advanced analytics. Chief supply chain officers (CSCOs) must prepare for supply chain disruption by prioritizing visibility, agility and resilience in the end-to-end supply chain. This includes processes related to supply chain cost management, supply chain risk management, supply chain sustainability and supply chain logistics.

    • Visibility ensures the supply chain senses risks early and knows what the best response options are so that it can act accordingly
    • Agility is the ability to sense and respond quickly to supply chain disruption, minimizing risk impacts
    • Resilience is the ability to resist, absorb and recover from supply chain disruption
    The 3 Pillars of Supply Chain success: 1. Strategy: Prepare to act confidently. 2. Cost: Establish a cost management approach. 3. Talent: Sustain progress on transformation.

    How we support on major supply chain disruption

    Every chief supply chain officer (CSCO) faces major supply chain disruption. What differentiates great CSCOs is how they turn supply chain disruptions into legacy-defining moments. We examine winning supply chain strategy per high-risk global supply chain disruption, and offer insights, advice, data, and tools to help CSCOs move beyond the hype of predictions and transform the supply chain.

    Supply chain strategy for raw material shortage

    Gartner research finds that 30% of CSCOs are shifting from a global supply chain model to one that is regionally based, in response to growing trade barriers and calls to bring manufacturing and supply bases back to their home countries. Download the Gartner report “A New Role for CSCOs in Supply Sourcing” to learn how today’s top supply chains are responding to postpandemic changes in supply bases, markets and manufacturing locations.

    Raw material price inflation: Supply chain strategy

    Supply chains are under immense pressure to counteract supply instability stemming from runaway price inflation and severe material shortages. To offset the impact of supply constraints, Gartner’s industry analysts have identified 14 supply chain management practices that involve shaping orders, shaping portfolios, securing lower tiers and optimizing resource allocation. See the list of 14 tactics for counteracting supply instability.

    Supply chain strategy for logistics capacity shortage

    We are navigating a driver crisis in supply chain logistics due to the COVID-19 pandemic, geopolitical forces, pervasive unsafe and poor working conditions, and high insurance premiums. The driver shortage in supply chain logistics cannot be solved by simply offering more pay. A sustainable solution to this logistics capacity shortage must involve retooling the employee value proposition and collaborating across stakeholder groups. Download a new report with solutions for solving the driver crisis, including retaining the aging driver workforce, attracting next-generation driver talent and expanding on the value drivers of today’s logistics talent.

    Supply chain strategy for global labor shortage

    Gartner research finds that only 27% of CSCOs believe that they have the talent needed to meet current supply chain performance requirements. The sustained increase in digital transformation initiatives across organizations means that the competition for technology skills will likely continue. Download the Gartner research “Developing the Supply Chain Professional of 2025” to learn how to redesign work and build capabilities for a digital supply chain.

    Supply chain strategy for logistics cost surge

    Many supply chain leaders focus on achieving short-term savings through cost reduction targets. Gartner research recommends using a total cost of ownership model (or TCO) to focus instead on shared strategic goals. Shifting toward total cost of ownership is hard, but not impossible, and helps to optimize supply chain costs. Download Gartner research that examines the benefits of total cost of ownership and provides practical tips for moving beyond simple/unit price.

    Global energy shortage and price surge: Supply chain strategy

    Supply chain sustainability keeps climbing higher on corporate agendas across the globe. Supply chain leaders must wrestle with wide-ranging stakeholder and policy interpretations about sustainable operations. They need to find ways to thrive in a dynamic landscape where global industry and business collaboration, society’s activism, and innovation acceleration drive climate and biodiversity ambitions. View on-demand a Gartner webinar that examines how to craft an effective business response to climate change that factors in potential net zero and sustainability blind spots.

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    Gartner Supply Chain Symposium/Xpo™

    Join the world's most important gathering of CSCOs, supply chain executives along with Gartner experts to transform and innovate your supply chain strategy.

    Saved $200,000 by leveraging low oil prices to renegotiate terms in ocean freight contract.
    Client Success Story

    Increasing the Agility of the S&OP Process at Milliken

    A surge in demand but a lack of capacity prompted the Vice President, Supply Chain at Milliken to evaluate the agility of the organization’s sales and operations planning (S&OP) process. With support from Gartner for Supply Chain, the client benchmarked Milliken’s demand planning capabilities against industry peers and accessed deep, nuanced insight about supply chain management best practice.

    Gartner Supply Chain Top 25 for 2021

    See the 17th annual ranking of the world’s superior supply chains to learn the standard for supply chain excellence.

    The 9 Macro Global Supply Chain Disruptors

    A common side effect of geopolitical and macroeconomic conflict – whether between countries or between parties/organizations within a country – is shortage in raw material, labor and/or energy. Resulting price inflation is a supply chain disruption that supply chain leaders must contend with. 

    Gartner’s advice: Be ready to make cost/sustainability trade-off decisions. To learn more, visit gartner.com for our topic center on Supply Chain Costs. Here we examine how to create a strategic vision for supply chain cost management.

    A labor-driven supply chain disruption may stem from a global health crisis or new trade policy. A lack of skilled talent results in reduced capacity. To combat a labor shortage, Gartner Supply Chain recommends using automation to optimize labor, as well as sharing logistical capacity.

    To learn more, visit gartner.com for our topic center on Supply Chain Skills. Here we examine how supply chain leaders can implement an effective talent strategy.

    To achieve new and ambitious supply chain sustainability targets, a company may need to significantly change what a product is comprised of, how a product is manufactured, and/or how a product is distributed. 

    Gartner advises supply chain leaders facing supply chain disruptions based in ESG/sustainability. Our advice includes: 

    • Rationalize the product portfolio

    • Hedge or lock in future pricing and supply from suppliers

    • Identify alternate raw materials and suppliers for specific materials in shortage

    To learn more, visit gartner.com for our topic center on Supply Chain Sustainability Management & Strategy. Here we examine how to generate business value from smarter packaging, responsible sourcing and strategic materials usage. 

    An energy-driven supply chain disruption may stem from ESG/sustainability demands, climate change and/or new trade policy. Energy shortfalls result in cost/price inflation, which may force companies to shut down factories and production lines. Clean energy commitments that are part of the supply chain sustainability strategy may be jeopardized, too. 

    Gartner advice for combatting an energy-driven supply chain disruption includes: 

    • Prioritize agility in supply chain strategy

    • Develop short-and long-term strategies to respond to and remediate future disruption

    • Consider accounting for your energy as variable cost instead of fixed cost

    To learn more, visit gartner.com for our topic center on Supply Chain Sustainability Management & Strategy. Here we examine how to generate business value from smarter packaging, responsible sourcing and strategic materials usage. 

    Climate change manifests shortages in raw materials and supplies. Shortage at the front end has impacts throughout the end-to-end supply chain, from supplier, to manufacturer, to distributor, to retailer, to consumer. 

    Gartner advises supply chain leaders facing supply chain disruptions based in climate change. Our advice related to supply chain sustainability includes: 

    • Rationalize the product portfolio

    • Hedge or lock in future pricing and supply from suppliers

    • Identify alternate raw materials and suppliers for specific materials in shortage

    Featured resource from Gartner Supply Chain: Read the executive report “Untapped Rewards for the Circular Economy”. This executive report features a case study from HP Inc. on engaging customers and communities through the circular economy.

    The COVID-19 pandemic proved that a global health crisis disrupts the entire supply chain – e.g., product shortages, increased costs, labor shortages, logistics/transportation challenges. 

    Gartner’s advice to supply chain leaders includes: 

    • Hedge or lock in future pricing and supply from suppliers

    • Diversify the supply base

    • Improve supply chain planning

    • Reduce supply chain surface area

    • Strengthen collaborations with others (even competitors)

    • Increase transparency with customers

    Featured resource from Gartner Supply Chain: Listen to podcast-style conversations for peer insights and advice on supply chain disruption. Supply chain leaders at 7 healthcare organizations offer lessons learned, proven approaches and best practices. 

    Social unrest may drive labor shortages, which manifest global supply chain disruption. When faced with a labor shortage, the best supply chain leaders apply automation to optimize labor and share logistical capacity by collaborating with others. 

    Turn to Gartner for support on supply chain risk management: We offer tools, research, experts and community resources for increasing supply chain risk readiness.

    Featured resource from Gartner Supply Chain: Expand the scope of supply chain to drive organizational purpose; Learn the five pillars of a purpose-driven supply chain

    Political unrest may heavily constrain transportation – ocean, air and trucking. Gartner advice for combatting a logistics capacity shortage includes: Maximize alternative options; share logistical capacity; and diversify the supplier base. 

    Turn to Gartner for support on supply chain risk management: We offer tools, research, experts and community resources for increasing supply chain risk readiness.

    Featured resource from Gartner Supply Chain: Explore how the “Biden Plan” to rebuild U.S.-based supply chains will impact global supply chain management | Understand three key policy implications  

    Accidents increase cost at each step of the end-to-end supply chain. Gartner’s advice to chief supply chain officers (CSCOs) facing supply cost pressure includes: Hedge or lock in future pricing and supply from suppliers; identify alternate raw materials and suppliers to combat shortages; and rationalize the product portfolio.

    To learn more, visit gartner.com for our topic center on Quality Management. Here we examine how quality management strategy and insights can increase your overall supply chain risk readiness during disruptions.

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