lead and founder of A.T. Kearney PERLabs. While cost remains critical, it’s no longer feasible to ignore resilience. This shift will inuence technology investments. For instance, supply chain leaders may decide to modify production processes so that they can accommodate a substitute raw material, if it becomes difcult to access their usual supply. Incorporating resilience in supply chain planning can cut into prot margins. However, resilient organizations often are well-positioned to capture market share when disruptions occur.
extremely well to make time to deal with the unknown information,” says Billy Duty, head of global supply chain with BYK, a division of Altana, a chemical company. Technology makes this possible. The chemical industry is now deploying track-and-trace solutions, long used in other industries. Knowing the location of incoming raw materials or components allows for more accurate production planning, even when disruptions occur. “We have to invest in technology that makes it easy for everyone to connect the dots,” Duty adds.
eastern seaboard and compelled several states to declare states of emergencies, among other consequences. One step to safeguarding supply chain technology is to keep in mind that many attacks occur over holidays or at the start of weekends, when security teams are likely to have even fewer people available to respond to an incident, Pepper says. The Colonial pipeline attack, for instance, occurred over Mother’s Day weekend. Organizations should conrm that their security teams are adequately resourced and remain aware of the additional risk of cyberattacks during these periods. Delays and shortages in the face of booming demand have created an urgent need for more effective technology for demand forecasting and visibility.
Watch for tech imposters. As critical as technology is, it’s also necessary to watch for “IT and tech imposters,” says Nicole Glenn, founder and CEO of Candor Expedite. These vendors market the wonderful things their solutions can do, even though it’s not clear they can deliver on their promises. To identify them, Glenn recommends proceeding with caution and asking questions. Some examples: How many people are on the team working on this solution? Can you demonstrate that your product does what you’re telling me it does?
Don’t neglect human interaction. As critical as technology is, no solution can completely replace human interaction. “You need the best of both technology and human interaction,” says Mark McCullough, CEO of Gebruder Weiss USA. “When you get into a bind, you want to talk to real industry experts and not someone trained only on software.” Kyle Seamans is logistics manager with Brenny Transportation. Like many companies, video conferencing, phone calls, and other tech tools implemented in the wake of the shutdowns in 2020 allowed Brenny to operate with some semblance of normalcy. But once it became safe to again visit customers, “I realized how pivotal face-to-face interactions can be,” Seamans says. While Seamans and the Brenny team will continue to leverage video conferencing and other tools, person- to-person connections, when they can be done safely, remain important. “No emoji or sweet digital background will replace the energy that it creates,” Seamans says. n
Remember cybersecurity. “An organization is only as safe as its supply chain,” says Tom Pepper, CEO of cybersecurity rm Egress. An attack can be crippling. The ransomware attack against the Colonial Pipeline caused fuel shortages across the U.S.
Consider technology’s role in resilience. Until recently, most supply chains have been optimized for cost, says Bharat Kapoor, global
120 Inbound Logistics • January 2022
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