A mere 2 percent of businesses across the globe were prepared for the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on supply chains, according to a survey released this week by analysts EY.
According to the findings which are based on feedback from some 200 senior executives in consumer, retail, life sciences, industrial, automotive, and advanced technology industries in the US, the majority (72 percent) of businesses polled said the pandemic had a negative effect on supply chains.
More than half (57 percent) said they faced disruption in operations: mainly businesses active in retail (74 percent), industrial products (82 percent), and in the automotive industry, where all participating in the survey said their supply chain was negatively affected.
Negative effects cited include reduced productivity (69 percent), inability to achieve development goals (64 percent), and reduced revenue (61 percent).
Visibility and resilience are the top priorities in the next 12-36 months, according those polled. Other key goals ahead include increased efficiency and training human resources while half said they are considering redefining their supply chain strategy.
More than half (64 percent) of industry leaders polled said they expect faster digital transition in the coming period, with 52 percent expecting consolidation of the supply chain autonomy by 2025. With regard to new technology integration, 59 percent of companies polled said they have launched pilot tests on the use of simulation software or Artificial Intelligence and 36 percent are in the process of planning such investments.
Indicatively, according to the survey despite the negative impact of Covid, companies remain committed to their digital transformation with 92 percent of those polled saying that they are moving ahead with technological investments.
On a positive note, companies in the life sciences sector appear to have benefited from the pandemic with 14 out of 44 companies in the sector reporting positive effects on their performance and 74 percent stating that they continued to operate smoothly.
Positive effects cited include increased consumer demand (71 percent), enhanced flexibility (67 percent), and increased productivity (57 percent).
“The serious disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic have forced companies across the globe, but also in Greece, to redefine supply chain strategies and models, aiming to enhance resilience, flexibility, interconnection, and transparency,” said Thanos Mavros, EY Greece Partner, Consulting Services – EY Greece and EY Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe & Central Asia (CESA) Head of Supply Chain & Operations.
“To do this they will need to increase investment in state-of-the-art technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and simulation software, while also train their existing human resources to meet the demands of the digital and autonomous supply chains of the future,” he said.