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Supply chain management has been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This has been confirmed by two recent surveys: the Global Supply Chain Disruption and Future Strategies Survey Report and the Accelerating Trends: Assessing the Supply Chain in a Post-Pandemic World survey. 

So what kind of changes will we see in supply chain management in a post-pandemic world?

More Supply Chain Transparency

There is a big focus on strengthening relationships with buyers and suppliers and increasing transparency. The vast majority of manufacturing executives are also taking steps to create more visibility within the supply chain, which includes more information on continuity strategies and risk management from suppliers. 

More questions are being asked from buyers and suppliers. Ann Marie Uetz, head of Foley’s Coronavirus Task Force recently told MH&L News, “Prior to the crisis, customers might request information and not get it, in the midst of the pandemic it is no longer acceptable to not show your cards or be uncommunicative with buyers.”

Technology and Innovation

The pandemic has also caused the adoption of new technologies and business processes that improve supply chain management to increase speed. Survey respondents stated the top technologies that are being considered are operational analytics that assist with the process of tracking metrics and indicators as well as tools or applications that improve tracking and visibility. 

Companies have really seen the benefits of using more automation in their processes, and that is a trend we are likely to see more of as we go into 2021. James Kalyvas, Foley’s Chief Innovation Partner told MH&L News that the focus would be on “identifying clear business objectives, tying payment to outcomes that achieve those objectives, and ensuring effective internal management of the implementation.”

Supply Chain Management Education

There is a new approach to supply chain management education as we see new courses like the course from The University of Illinois in partnership with Coursera and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called, “Managing Supply Chain Disruption During COVID-19.”

The pandemic has brought the importance of supply chain management to the forefront in the mind of the everyday consumer, and this has introduced a new skillset and knowledge into the supply chain manager’s requirements. These new courses will include case studies and strategies used by companies to manage disruptions. 

firstPRO has a specific focus on recruiting supply chain managers, and we can help candidates to remain informed on any changes in supply chain management. Additionally, we can help companies who need to fill these positions to find the most qualified candidates.