Sustainability to Survivability the Supply Chain post COVID-19 Q7

A: David A Hogg, Sterling Supply ChainSales Leader, Europe at IBM

I believe sustainability will come back into focus as we move through the recovery period to the next normal. As we all know ethical trading, sustainability and reusability were hot topics as we entered 2020 and do remain in the consciousness of the consumer. We can see a two-step journey. Step 1) Recovery mode, bringing business back to life and taking tactical manoeuvres to unlock inventory and get revenue flowing. This could also include marketing and promotion activity to push product that is time sensitive such as in season fashion items. This will require strong inventory visibility and enabling contactless commerce and flexible fulfilment options such as kerbside pick up and deliver to home. Step 2) As the various industry segments settle into their new normal, we see the formulation of supply chain strategies that will in turn drive investment in resilient and agile supply chains. A couple of clear examples of this are a) Full omni channel platforms to best manage flow of outbound goods and b) End to end multi-tier supply chain control towers designed to give unprecedented visibility and insights to mitigate supply chain interruptions or delays for whatever reason.

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