How Technology Is Helping to Solve Global Supply-Chain Issues

By Joseph MossInternational Banker

Among the most severe and persistent problems facing the global economy since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic is the immense strain that has been put on global supply chains. Worldwide lockdowns and restrictions have meant that the probability of consumers in one country receiving goods in a timely fashion remains far from guaranteed due to the pertinent threats to the complex supply-chain processes of manufacturing, storage, transport, logistics and distribution originating across other countries .

Ultimately, the sheer weight of demand for products around the world has resulted in significant challenges faced by global supply chains, such as insufficient labor availability, questionable equipment supplies and the emergence of massive global bottlenecks that have resulted in consistent delays. But as the economy recovers from the pandemic and business activity and retail sales grow again, more goods are set to move through supply chains. Can the long-running supply-chain fragility be sufficiently addressed to cope with this rejuvenated demand? And can technology and innovation play crucial roles in fixing many of these long-term issues faced by global supply chains?

As the pandemic has ushered in a major shift towards the digital realm for many of our daily needs, so, too, are global supply chains feeling the benefits of digitalisation, with systems becoming automated, flexible, efficient, self-reliant and intelligent. According to a Gartner survey of 211 supply-chain professionals in December 2021, 34 percent of respondents said that adapting to new technology is the most important strategic change that supply-chain organizations will face five years from now. As such, supply-chain leaders “must take multidisciplined approaches for identifying innovative technologies and orchestrate the right technology investments at the right place and the right time,” according to Dwight Klappich, vice…