Indian Institute of Foreign Trade: Tradewinds 2018

Trade Winds

National Operations Summit

Supply Chain Disruptions in the wake of Global Uncertainties

The rise of globalisation has led to supply chains fragmented across geographies and continents. Today, supply chains are more global and integrated than ever, transcending boundaries across countries and continents.

The past year has seen events like Brexit, the Trump phenomenon and suddenly the world seems moving towards rising protectionism and closed borders. With such nationalistic and anti-trade sentiments prevailing, the fragmented supply chains become a liability to the companies and they need to change their strategies to counter these uncertainties and mitigate the risks.

Technological disruptions are causing companies to change their business models and continuously reinvent their supply chains to gain an edge over others and stay relevant. With Industry 4.0 in the making, the ICT (Internet and Communication Technology) revolution, growing shift of businesses towards digital and even the move towards automation and robotics, the pace of change calls for innovation and strategic changes.

People are moving from the buzzword “Internet of Things” (IoT) to the “Digital Economy.” The concept of the Digital Economy encompasses IoT, but also includes the idea that IoT sensor data needs to be leveraged in applications that take that sensor data, turn it into actionable tasks that are embedded in the right process step that can be executed by the right person

Automation and robots will decrease the need for warehouse workers. Logistics function will undergo a fundamental change as artificial intelligence gets deployed to handle domestic and international movement of goods. The next step would be driver less autonomous vehicles undertaking goods delivery operations

The key implication of these changes is that the supply chains are generating massive amounts of data. AI is helping organizations analyse this data, gain a better understanding of the variables in the supply chain and helping them anticipate future scenarios. Thus, in this digital age where the mantra is “evolve or be disrupted”, companies are leveraging AI to reinvent themselves and scale their businesses quickly.

Apart from these, geopolitical (conflicts and trade restrictions), economic (demand shocks and price volatility) and environmental (climate chain and green regulations) factors are also dynamically changing and posing significant business risks

In the wake of all these global uncertainties, the existing established supply chain networks and logistic models are getting impacted and disrupted. How are firms and their supply chains dealing with these shifts, changes and uncertainties and what are the new trends emerging in the industry as a result of these is the question of the hour

Indian Institute of Foreign Trade: Tradewinds 2017