What is the extent of the pandemic's impact on sourcing?

18 March 2021

More than 85% of supply chain professionals say sourcing has come under duress over the last year due to the coronavirus pandemic and global trade wars.

Supply chain automation platform Centersource and logistics media consultancy Charlie Pesti surveyed over 300 supply chain professionals for their report The State of The Freight 2021.

Almost half (44%) of companies said the pandemic and trade wars had had a considerable impact on sourcing.

However 23% said they had diversified over the last year, with another 33% saying it was highly likely they would diversify in the near future.

A fifth (18%) considered themselves to have negligible visibility into their first-tier customer or vendor’s operations, while a quarter (24%) said they had inadequate visibility. Visibility was cited as the main reason for seeking technology solutions for 20% of respondents.

Around 40% said digitalisation and automation possibilities were the principal reasons for adopting technologies, while 30% said they were adopting technology primarily for data-based insights.

When it came to naming which part of their operations were in critical need of a technology solution, 30% said sourcing capacity or volume.

Workflow and documentation automation and efficient customs process handling capabilities were mentioned by 44%.

A third (35%) considered it highly likely they would collaborate with other supply chain stakeholders in the near future, while 20% had already partnered up within the industry.

A further 34% said it was likely they would collaborate in the future.

“Visibility has quickly turned out to be an operational necessity across every supply chain node – be it the shipper, freight forwarders, or the end consumer,” said the report.

“Visibility ensures shippers can stay on top of constantly evolving consumer preferences and navigate demand and supply volatility by maintaining inventories and diversifying sourcing patterns.”

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