Maintaining a seamless flow of supply in the face of bottlenecks and resource scarcity is crucial for sustaining service levels. According to panelists at a recent CSCMP EDGE 2023 Conference session, the key to responding effectively to resource scarcity is supply chain visibility.
For Chris Papadopoulou, professor of supply chain and director of the Masters of Supply Chain program at Rotterdam Business School (RUAS), the first step to enhancing your supply chain's visibility is understanding the five megatrends impacting supply chains. Once you understand how these trends—demographic changes, economic power shifts, climate change, rapid urbanization, and technological changes—are impacting your supply chain, organizations can better tackle and mitigate resource scarcity.
However, it can often be difficult first to distinguish between resource scarcity and inventory depletion and then to accurately predict whether either of these scenarios will disrupt the flow of supply. To address these challenges, retailer Abercrombie & Fitch Co. is reshaping its talent and culture to become more proactive when responding to disruptions rather than reactive, according to Kristen Kravitz, Abercrombie's vice president of supply chain.
Abercrombie's vision, according to Kravitz, is to build a "self-healing" supply chain. The company's goals center on connecting cross-functional data, automating routine processes and decisions, creating faster cross-functional decision-making actions, and improving sales while optimizing margins.
In the end, the companies that can establish end-to-end visibility of their supply chains will be better able to handle future resource shortages and supply disruptions.