‘Pandemic to hasten investment in building supply chain resilience’

Firms must avoid complacency, overspending, say experts

August 11, 2020 10:44 pm | Updated 10:48 pm IST - HYDERABAD

Mnadya Ramanagaram Karnataka 27_June_2015 : Food and Civil Supplies department warehouse in Ramanagaram district. A major scam of illegally diverting rice bags from this Government warehouse has been unearthed recently

Mnadya Ramanagaram Karnataka 27_June_2015 : Food and Civil Supplies department warehouse in Ramanagaram district. A major scam of illegally diverting rice bags from this Government warehouse has been unearthed recently

Companies need to build resilience of supply chains in preparing for disruptions while at the same time guarding against complacency, refraining from investing disproportionately and also weighing the trade-offs.

This was the central message that emerged at a virtual discussion on Supply Chain Resilience hosted recently by Synergia Foundation in partnership with the Centre for Transportation and Logistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Observing that while the number of sources of risks were unlimited, the outcome of the risk events were not, MIT Deputy Director Jim B. Rice said disruptions mainly lead to a loss of capacity to acquire materials, to move products, communicate, conduct internal operations, requisition human resources, access funds and distribute products to customers and consumers.

Pointing out that the disruption due to COVID-19 was quite distinct, he expected to see an increased focus on resilience post pandemic. And while such efforts had already been underway since 9/11, Mr. Rice said the process would be accelerated, with a shift towards risk balancing the supply chain also on account of the trade war.

Companies should avoid spending big during disruptions and then turning complacent, he said, stressing the need to create capabilities in the supply chain through integrated business planning.

Director of IIM Udaipur Janat P. Shah said the geo-political situation had already triggered the changes towards making supply chains resilient. As they make changes and invest on building capabilities, companies need to make their customers understand the efforts.

In building more resilience, companies need to ensure against wasteful investment and ask themselves whether the customer will pay for the resilience that was built, he said.

Kishore Jayaraman, president of Rolls Royce, India and South Asia, said post COVID-19, companies were going to look at business continuity plans (BCP) very differently.

Synergia Foundation founder and president Tobby Simon, Dynamatic Technologies CEO and managing director Udayant Malhoutra, and DHL Express India senior vice-president and MD Subramanian R.S. also participated in the discussion.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.