How will supply chains emerge stronger post COVID-19?

Organizational resilience is defined as: “The ability of an organization to anticipate, prepare for, respond and adapt to incremental change and sudden disruptions in order to survive and prosper.”

The truth of this statement was writ large during the global COVID-19 pandemic, which has revealed opportunities to improve the environmental impact of global supply chains across most – if not all – sectors and societies.

Economic and societal costs have been significant – the International Monetary Fund has estimated the global cost of the pandemic will have totalled $28tn in lost output – and organizations remain in reaction mode, focusing on maintaining supply and meeting their customer’s needs. Inevitably we will reach a point where leaders will switch to analysis mode, searching for more resilient responses to unpredictable but inevitable future disruptions.

Trust in the capabilities and values across the supply chain was tested in 2020, and while delays and insufficient supplies were common, organizations have on the whole not compromised on environmental, social and governance goals and continue to focus more on removing risks from their supply chains rather than cutting costs.

Agile leadership continues to be a defining factor in helping organizations to adapt and respond to disruption and remain resilient. The importance of effective process, across supplier management, business continuity and community engagement, has seen the greatest increases in perceived importance for Organizational Resilience.