Digital acceleration fueled by the Covid-19 pandemic is forcing companies to adapt and improve their supply chain resilience strategies, according to a set of reports from consulting firm Deloitte, released this week.
The reports examine how a shift in consumer spending since the pandemic began has caused companies in both the consumer product (CP)and retail industries to take a hard look at their supply chains and determine where improvements can be made. Leaders in both industries say they will invest more in supply chain resilience efforts in 2021.
Highlights from the CP report show that more than 95% of CP executives said supply chain resiliency plays an important role in their strategic objectives, and 90% said they are making “significant” further investments to improve their supply chain resilience. Three-quarters said they will use external data to predict demand, and just over half said artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are beginning to replace historical statistical forecasting in 2021. Automation is also a top concern, with one in three CP companies indicating they will invest in robotic process automation for a range of applications. What’s more, 90% of executives said they are prioritizing speed—specifically, focusing on ways to allow their supply chains to react more quickly to consumer needs.
On the retail side, 80% of retailers surveyed said they expect to make moderate to major supply chain investments in 2021, with many of those investments focused on visibility. More than half of retail executives surveyed ranked visibility into the full supply chain network as important, for example. Retailers are also focused on last-mile resilience; most say it’s important to measure how last-mile drives the supply chain, and eight out of 10 retailers said they view measuring resilience as “increasingly important,” according to the report.
Deloitte interviewed executives at consumer product companies and retail businesses for the reports.