Learn how to build resilient supply chains


Mon, 3 Aug 2020

3 to 5 mins read

a business executive sweating and running in a hamster wheel

What threatens your business growth and continuity?

Wouldn't this question be very relevant today?

​- Suppliers might face interruptions to support you as a customer.

- Multiple components for your products can experience disruption synchronously or asynchronously

- On field performance of your products may have a surprise element.

- and possibly other factors...

A recent Gartner survey suggests that only 21% of respondents had the agility to shift sourcing, manufacturing, and distribution activities rapidly in the wake of a disruption.

80% of the organizations seem to be under-prepared for mitigating the risks arising from broken and non-resilient supply chains. This also points towards the presence of organizations that understand the priority for increasing resiliency.

Business leaders are now forced to reassess their plans, road maps, and strategies for a sustained business growth via world-class customer service that helps overcome the immediate challenges for the enterprise and prepare for all future disruptions; all-in-all, build a supply chain that is elastic and can withstand every breakdown. 

So, how to build Supply Chain Resiliency?

Achieving Resilience = Regaining the original shape following a deformation

The past supply chains worked with a heavy focus on ad hoc production and stocking while broken data threads were a common instance. They were reactive to the challenges and changes and worked with a push-based methodology. 

elements of today's supply chain

Existing supply chains are failing to navigate the now increasingly complex and volatile market. They have a humongous amount of data to deal with and insights are lost in translation.

By failing to optimize better stakeholder outcomes and threatening business continuity for many, non-resilient networks are lacking profitability and intelligent supply chain planning

Why is there a need to build resilient supply chains?

There are several threats to a supply chain—natural disasters, accidents, intentional disruptions, ever-shrinking product lifecycles, and volatile and unpredictable markets.

To continue production in the face of component shortages, achieve economies of scale, and drive profit while also being able to surf the tides of sudden economic impacts, resilient supply chains are the need of the hour to help organizations navigate the new normal.

Five macro forces are changing the way we design, make, sell, source, and deliver products. The following factors influence the resiliency of our supply chains:


Industry convergence



Customer Experience

The time is ripe for manufacturers, logistics providers and retailers to rethink supply chain planning and execution. Organizations that manage to prioritize better inventory management and cost savings while closing the gap between demand and fulfilment for their customers are on the right path. Here are 5 key considerations:

Business Continuity

Workforce transformation will be key to recovering from business disruptions & supply chain inconsistency.supply chain inconsistency.

Diversified Operations

Market conditions demand the diversification and localization of manufacturing, as well as the ability to overcome the complexities of existing supply sourcing.

Risk Mitigation

Supply chain leaders will re-examine risk mitigation strategies and upfront investment, to address future disruptions while also advancing security and compliance goals.

Sustainable Growth

Disruptive technology to drive innovation in development of sustainable products, processes, & services. 


Enable agile, predictive manufacturing by adding end-to-end visibility throughout your supply chain for disruption recovery.

Why are Resilient Supply Chains future-proof?

Resilient Supply Chains are trusted, sustainable, and intelligent. They not only provide organizations the ability to manage risks but also helps them in placing themselves against their competitors in the wake of disruption, and in fact, draw an advantage out of it. 

Resilient supply chains provide the capacity for resistance and the capacity for recovery. With these capacities, manufacturing organizations can effectively delay the impact of the disruption once it occurs. They also provide organizations with the added ability to recover from a disruption.

Organizations at the forefront of the technology curve can ensure business continuity and deliver the highest quality products and services to meet their customers' rapidly changing needs.

Elements of future supply chain

What goes into building resilient Supply Chains?

Organizations should be tirelessly working towards future-proofing their designs, processes, and approaches. Moving away from legacy-based systems is a pre-requisite to making the supply chain more resilient. 

To develop supply chain resilience, companies need to make product design a regular conversation and work with ‘technology’ to implement the design revision and modification process seamlessly.

Pillars of a resilient supply chain
Here goes the theory to help you gain an over-the-surface understanding of how resilient Supply Chains can be designed

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and electronic data interchange platforms are great tools. They can effectively help supply chain managers work with enriched data sets and better understand the dynamics of the procurement, production schedules, logistics, delivery requirements, foresee the occurrence of a disruption, and respond accordingly, while helping make decisions related to customer needs. 

Understanding the demand and supply risk is an integral part of this pursuit. Identifying the drivers that influence these factors is the key to navigating the greatest changes that lead to the disruption of the business sphere. The core is to understand the factors that affect the target buyers and how the event impacts your suppliers, eventually affecting the business. 

Identifying the main stakeholders and prioritizing with a clear picture of collaborations that work during risks and challenges is the foundation for resilient supply chains. These stakeholders must be willing to help the business maximize capacity and supply in the face of all business challenges. 

Responding with standardized processes can help businesses adapt to disruption by reallocating resources where the need is greatest. Building a system that enables switching production among facilities if the need arises can be an overwhelming requirement. Simultaneous processes in place of sequential processes can help organizations speed up market responses. 

Digitally empowered workforce can brace the disruption with distributed power and can take necessary actions because there is established accountability, transparency, and traceability for every action they partake. 

A holistic approach that understands and manages the Supply Chain as a whole and not as separate parts can deliver action into the idea.

Intelligent automation with the deployment of IIoT (Industrial IoT), AI, ML, AR/VR, Robotics, and other technologies across the supply chain can deliver more data-led innovation. They can certainly help with demand forecasting, quality control, and other manufacturing pursuits by offering intelligent business insights during a crisis by providing real-time tracking.

Big data understanding and implementation across all verticals can help organizations gather the necessary information that can help them make better decisions during a crisis and otherwise.

Working toward a resilient, intelligent supply chain isn’t going to be a cakewalk. While standardized planning, technology such as AI/analytics, and supplier sustainability compliance are some of its most important aspects, there is always so much that can be left out in theory. So, watch out for this space to keep learning more.

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