Part of the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic is that we discovered our supply chains weren’t as resilient as we might have imagined. Virtually every day, media outlets presented us with stories on supply chain disruptions in industries as diverse as pharmaceuticals, microchips, and lumber. Pandemic-related lockdowns triggered shortages in key materials and components that rippled throughout global value networks. Container ships piled with goods sat idle, waiting their turn to be unloaded at overcrowded ports. According to one estimate, 94% of Fortune 1000 companies experienced supply chain disruptions due to COVID-19.
The scale and scope of supply chain disruption brought on by COVID were unprecedented. No supply chain leader could have anticipated the impact. But the crisis did highlight some surprising vulnerabilities—shortcomings that wholesale distributors are eager to address, both to rebound from the crisis and to be better prepared for the next disruption.
The new agenda for supply chain leaders
So what are the top priorities for distributors looking to shore up their supply chains and create greater flexibility and resiliency?
Embracing innovation to drive supply chain transformation
As a growing number of distributors plan for a more volatile future, they’re seeking out the solutions that can help them ensure business continuity in the midst of supply chain disruption. According to one recent study, 87% of respondents are planning investments in supply chain resiliency within the next two years.
What are some of the areas targeted for investment?
Today’s supply chains are much more than a loose confederation of businesses with shared interests. They’re drivers of growth and innovation — and the foundation of a distributor’s market reputation. The more efficient and collaborative that supply chains can be, the more effectively they can help distributors weather disruption and thrive long after the dust has settled.
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