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Post-COVID-19, Reimagining Retail Part 4: Supply Chain Resiliency

Post-COVID-19, The Need For Supply Chain Resiliency In Retail

The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced many things that we already know to be true, but perhaps previously underplayed, including the fact that any business is only as robust as its supply chain. 

This is certainly true of retail, which relies on multiple partners in different parts of the world. The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the vulnerability and fragility of the modern-day global supply chain. In particular, China’s status as the epicenter of major supply chains is straining multiple industries, especially retail, and, as a direct result, prompting significant changes in business and consumer behavior.  

Supply chain resiliency is one of several areas I explore in a new paper I have written for Mythos Group, which examines five practical considerations for retailers charting a course out of COVID-19:

1. Employee and Customer Safety
2. Corporate Restructuring
3. Transition to Digital
4. Supply Chain Resiliency
5. Understanding Consumer Behavior

Reimagining And Reinventing Supply Chains

Global supply chains will need to change after COVID-19, and retailers should proactively think now about how they will address future disruptions. Here are three key recommendations on how retailers can reimagine their supply chain to build resiliency:

  • Understand Current Pain-Points And Risks: By gaining visibility into their end-to-end processes and talking to their suppliers, retailers can identify potential pain-points, while identifying any indirect exposures and risks. By developing mitigation plans that rapidly address supply chain disruptions, retailers will be able to reduce their operational risks. 
  • Build Smarter Supply Chains: Rather than focusing on siloed processes, retailers need to develop intelligent, holistic, and efficient workflows across a network of processes and partners, while simultaneously reducing an over-reliance on a single market (China). Leveraging AI and other emerging business platforms, retailers will be better equipped to dampen the impacts of unexpected disruptions and maintain business continuity.
  • Develop Resiliency: The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need to strengthen global supply chain networks. While retailers are working through their immediate supply chain challenges, they also need to work on how they can foresee, better manage, and limit the severity of future disruptions. The key for retailers to thrive in the new normal will be for them to build necessary capabilities, such as teaming up with supply chain partners to establish a coordinated crisis-support plan, to respond to future unexpected events with both speed and agility.

Mythos Group’s white paper, Post-COVID-19, Reimagining The Retail Sector, contains more detail on this and other recommendations, and is available to download for free from Papers.