How have Supply Chain Operations Changed Over the Last 12 Months?

It’s Been a Challenging Year

It’s safe to say that covid has transformed the way the world operates and within that, the pressures placed on Supply Chains of Global Markets amassed more than we could have imagined.

Logistical disruptions, production stoppages, staffing issues, commodity price increases and spikes in customer demand, were just a few areas that faced tough times.

Person stood in a warehouse using a laptop.

As a specialist recruiter operating in the industry for the past 16 years, it took a high degree of commercial intelligence to understand the impact this had on each individual business. Grasping a handle on the situation allowed me to consult and support my clients through the hiring of specialist talents to navigate through.

In this blog, I wanted to share my experiences, having worked with many clients across the region and provide insight into how the supply chain operation has changed over the last 12 months.

Professional headshot of Carl.

 

Investing in Supply Chain Intelligence is Key to Achieving Sustainable Revenue

It was (and still is) apparent that Supply Chain Intelligence has been key in supporting business crucial decisions to achieve sustainable revenue and overcome issues that arose as a result of the pandemic.

Two people wearing suits, shaking hands in a board room.

Today, we are noticing the aftereffects of those businesses and sectors that were slow in adopting an agile supply chain strategy and likewise, in reacting to customer behaviours during not just the pandemic but as importantly BREXIT, which caused major issues across supply chains, operations and production, and most notably Materials OR Product availability.

In comparison, McKinsey reports that 83% of businesses that applied some combination of inventory increases, dual sourcing, and/or regionalisation over the last two years to boost resilience, believe that this helped them to minimize the impact of supply chain disruptions this year.

Illustration of a hiking boot with text: 83% of businesses that took footprint resilience measures over the past two years believe this helped them minimize the impact of supply chain disruptions in 2022

Companies with a mature Demand Forecast, that have a strong collaboration with their customers have been able to make quicker commercial decisions when it comes to ‘switching on/off’ the supply of products/raw materials, to mitigate excess inventory and improve cash flow.

Manufacturing businesses that invested in their supply chain forecast and demand, saw improvements in balancing production plans with labour and raw materials, whilst reducing external warehousing space with 3PLs.

 

Planning For the Next 12 Months

Looking to the future, I can’t help but relate to PESTELE factors.

Graphic of PESTELE acronym: Political, economic, social, technological, environmental, legal, and ethical.

Supply Chain is no longer just an “operational function” but a strategic, tactical function that can address key issues with a lasting impact.

  • GEO Politics
  • Commodity Prices
  • Raw Material Availability
  • Logistics Delivery
  • BREXIT
  • Environmental Sustainability Supply Chain

Supply Chain Functions are outcome-driven solutions, which require a dynamic approach.

Our specialist recruiters within Elevation’s Procurement & Supply Chain division have already experienced the growing client demands for more versatile professionals who can adapt to market changes and facilitate skill gaps, rather than just being a ‘Planner’ or ‘Buyer’ etc.

Talent needs to be expansive, and we’ve seen just that in the market, with the shift of demands for traditional operational roles at £25k in favour of £35-40k end-to-end supply chain professionals.

Businesses increasingly need supply chain professionals with excellent digital competency to aid supply chain visibility. According to McKinsey, over 90% of businesses invested in digital supply chain technologies last year and 80% expect to make further investments this year and beyond.

Illustration of hand pressing a button with text:  80% of businesses expect to invest in digital supply chain technologies in 2022 and beyond

With a looming recession in the midst, Senior Leadership roles, particularly Head of Supply Chain and Head of Planning, have been key hires for companies that require support with new target operating models.

 

Summary

To summarise the changes in supply chains over the last 12 months, our clients need people that are adaptable, avid problem solvers, that can work with data and are able to efficiently apply a process that not only mitigates risks in supply chains but galvanises and inspires the whole business to embrace change and elevate performance with the right behaviour.

 

Get In Touch

If you are looking for advice or support in hiring these business-critical roles, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or submit a vacancy.

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