Supply chains to be held to new standard, says Bain

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Supply chains to be held to new standard, says Bain

Previous metrics of supply chain success will no longer be sufficient in a post-pandemic world, according to Bain and Co.

The research company suggests that a new focus on traceability will provide companies with a lasting competitive advantage in the new business climate.

“The two primary business objectives over the past century have been reliability and efficiency, that is no longer sufficient,” says Bain partner and management consultant, Joshua Hinkel.

“To compete effectively, supply chains must now also be resilient and sustainable, and traceability is a great enabler to do so.”

He explains that leadership teams that trace their product throughout their entire value chain will be able to successfully transform operations and create new business models, with this value chain serving as their new competitive base.

Hinkel outlines five actions that can ensure a resilient and sustainable supply chain:

1. Set the traceability strategy
Hinkel says that traceability leaders link application areas to a company’s overall ambition, strategic priorities, specific opportunities for value creation, higher performance and greater sustainability.

2. Focus on immediate value
While tempting to focus on opportunities that only create the highest value, prioritising immediate value will energise both internal and external stakeholders, convince them to collaborate cross the end-to-end ecosystem.

3. Implement + Scale
“Traceability is a journey that will benefit from cross-organisational learning that will build a company’s capabilities over time,” says Hinkel.

4. Build enablers
Selecting use cases that build on the same enablers will accelerate scaling and amplify results, creating a repeatable action.

5. Influence + Build trust
Prioritising implementation areas that influence other members of the ecosystem and their behaviours and building the required trust with partners will bring lasting value to a company’s supply chain operations.

“For leadership teams evaluating their options, it is time to act,” says Hinkel.

“For those that are piloting and experimenting, it is time to scale. And for those running full scale digital solutions, it is time to amplify the benefits.”

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