Supply chain professionals are confident their companies can meet customer demand despite the pandemic-related challenges of the past year, according to a survey from freight broker GlobalTranz, released this week.
The company surveyed 200 supply chain executives and managers to gauge their confidence in the economic recovery and their firms’ ability to meet growing demand in 2021. The majority said they expect a robust economic recovery, due largely to Covid-19 vaccine rollouts, and nine out of 10 said their companies are prepared to meet demand in 2021.
The outlook follows record-breaking shipping volumes last fall and sustained peak levels of activity throughout the supply chain as consumer and business buying activity show no signs of slowing down. Seventy percent of respondents said Covid-19 vaccine rollouts will help them attract new customers, and 94% said they are confident that vaccine distribution will drive a strong economic recovery. Sixty percent said the latest government stimulus spending will benefit both their operations and business revenue.
The survey also found that supply chain leaders are confident they’ve made the right adjustments to meet the past year’s accelerated shift to e-commerce. Two-thirds of respondents said their company has adopted a successful omnichannel strategy, for instance—a 20% increase over what GlobalTranz found in a similar survey it conducted last October. Supply chain leaders also said they will continue to make adjustments in 2021: Nearly 80% said they will prioritize increasing their warehouse space and expanding warehouse locations this year, and more than three-quarters said that re-shoring or near-shoring supply chain operations is a priority.
Survey respondents also weighed in on some of the biggest challenges facing supply chain organizations, including: rising transportation costs (37%), labor availability (31%), and a lack of resources, such as parts and materials (33%). Respondents also cited concerns about home delivery: A quarter of respondents cited poor handling or service related to delivery as a problem, and 76% said they are concerned about the ability of their small parcel provider to deliver on time.
GlobalTranz conducted the survey in March, in conjunction with communications firm Edelman.