“As we grapple with one of the largest global exogenous shock to economies, almost all aspects of managing supply chains will go through substantial changes. In the case of our country, several long horizon transformations will get accelerated and perhaps skip a generation of gradual improvements. Logistics and supply chains would aim to become more resilient and dynamic in this new world order.”
In an ET Retail article that focuses on the “Future of Indian supply chains and opportunities in a post COVID world,” Mr. Vineet Agarwal, MD TCI penned down that every entity engaged in running supply chains would need to go through severe compliances as worker, product, transport and facility sanitization protocols have to be in place.
Commenting on the widespread disruptions caused by COVID-19 that severely affected supply chains in India, he cited, “As ongoing supply side issues start getting addressed, we will see demand contraction in several industry segments creating further disorder. Organizations would need to adapt to this new reality and consider building supply chain resilience”.
Mr. Agarwal also highlighted that many companies are operating supply chains mostly just in time with limited pipeline stock and are unable to provide products when needed. Therefore, risk management and mitigation would gain prominence in supply chains where companies would start building more safety stock in their distribution pipelines. This would lead to an increase in more warehousing space across networks. The practice of developing multiple and robust contingency plans would now be taken more seriously.
Going forward, multimodal transport using a combination of rail, sea and road will gain dominance for moving cargo nationally.
As the demand for reduction in the number of touch-points that a product goes through in the entire supply chain increases thus automation in handling systems including palletization of cargo, conveyor systems, robotics, drones, drop boxes amongst others would go through an accelerated trend. A rapid shift towards omni-channel procurement would be visible. Reducing the spread of the virus would also mean an increase in phytosanitary standards for food grade products.
Referring to the unprecedented rise of the digital era as a ‘game-changer’, Mr. Agarwal emphasized, “There is no doubt with the massive changes in supply chains, digital transformation of the industry will be hastened. From planning to execution, every element of the logistics process would be reconsidered, repurposed and digitized.”
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