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The adaptation of the global supply chain
As the world continues to grapple with an unprecedented human and economic crisis, global supply chains are being hit hard, right in front of our eyes. At the beginning of the pandemic, when the virus was taking its toll on China, most experts were focused mainly on ‘supply shocks’ linked to a lack of availability or supply disruption of any goods sourced from the country.
Many companies scrambled to get what was in the market, but it was not enough. Some supply chain companies tried to show resilience, adopting resilience levers to survive the lockdowns that started to be enforced in almost every country in the world. During this time, to comply with the restrictions that were put in place, companies started stocking up on consumer staples, where in some cases they bought months’ worth of goods in a single day.
The fuel and energy sector was also severely affected by the pandemic. However, companies in this sector came up with some more efficient ways to survive. Security of supply in the sector became much more relevant: as the crisis continued to unfold, companies such as JMR moved to secure supply chains and component inventory management.
Regardless, when viewed through a COVID-19 lens, the risk/return ratio of global supply chains has shifted dramatically. A majority of businesses in the sector have used their pandemic experience to decide on a number of issues, including business continuity and crisis management strategies. Many petroleum companies have also gone a step further to implement structural measures to minimize risk. Due to the reduction in oil prices, high-cost producers were left exposed and therefore saw the need to turn to collaborative partnerships or consolidation to try and bring their costs down.
Moreover, the pandemic accelerated new ways of working, automation, and digitization. To mitigate the impact of national lockdowns and restrictions, many companies, including JMR, decided to digitize their operations, creating greater built-in resiliency while also reducing dependency on human resources. Investing in this area helped these companies to guarantee business continuity in their supply chains, operations, and customer management during the pandemic, and will continue to do so even long after the pandemic is merely an unpleasant memory.
The advantage of technological transformation is that it not only enables the companies to navigate disruptions brought by the pandemic, but also promotes new ways for them to work, boosting workforce productivity and flexibility. When it comes to supply chains, it is critical for transportation and logistics managers to gain real-time access and visibility into their inventory, operations, and deliveries. So, JMR has introducted integrated mobility as well as an IoT management platform, which will enable us to optimize delivery routes so as to enable quick and efficient completion of the shipments.
Lastly, the government has also taken a proactive approach when it comes to sharing information as well as assessing how all of its partner companies are doing during the crisis. It has optimized analytics and data collection tools so as to assess the impact of the virus on the supply chain, which includes a new reason code that allows suppliers to highlight contracts with problems and figure out ways to handle them.