Taking on the current popular opinion, global supply chains will resume normal operations once the majority of the world has fully recovered from the epidemic is not entirely accurate. The world has fundamentally altered, and supply chains will continue to confront difficulties for many years to come.
Global supply chains systems will never be the same for many more businesses, especially in a world where there is a possibility of decreasing supplies, rising energy costs, increased geopolitical risk, and congested transportation networks.
Global Supply Chains and Disruptions: Let’s Go Back in Time
Anyone who has worked in the supply chain sector knows that it’s an adventure and can attest to the reality that big changes have always been a part of supply networks, and supply chains profit from moments of quiet.
In fact, since the beginning of trade, issues including natural catastrophes, terrorism, economic cycles, and capacity shortages have arisen, and global supply chains have profited from peaceful trade between rich and developing nations since the conclusion of the Cold War.
The Issues Holding Back the “Back-to-Normal”
Blurred lines with new technologies
The purpose of new technology is not to cause disruption. However, it’s a reality since many businesses are unprepared for the breadth, depth, and implications of emerging technology. They make training difficult. Employee resistance to change prompts them to mandate change management for all technological implementations.
Old infrastructure is another problem that affects global supply chains. The fundamental problem in this situation is the absence of an organized and targeted investment plan. Without dependable infrastructure investment, decades have passed. The industry now has to deal with crumbling roads, bridges, and structures. Delays, shortages, and customer satisfaction have all increased as a result of neglected infrastructure.
The sector has long been impacted by labor concerns, but as of late, they have grown more serious. For instance, Covid has exacerbated the ongoing labor crisis in the transportation industry. Similarly, recruiting and retaining employees have been impacted by the pandemic and social policies of the government. Currently, there is a labor shortage across all industries and a tight labor market. Both have a negative impact on a return to normality and a trustworthy supply chain execution.
With consumers turning more and more to online shopping, they flocked to internet retailers rather than traditional brick-and-mortar retailers. Due to this, many drivers have switched from long-haul professions to last-mile delivery occupations. This makes the lack of drivers much more challenging. Additionally, capacity has been compounded by rising consumer demand, and it appears that the e-commerce movement and its effects will continue to expand in the next few years.
Global supply chains are increasingly being impacted by geopolitical events leading to unprecedented disruptions, particularly between countries in conflict or tension.
This being said, these challenges are not to give a pessimist outlook into the future of supply chain management, but rather expose the current factors affecting it and be equipped to turn and each one of them into an opportunity for a better, more modern, and resilient system.
Driving the change after an MSc in Supply Chain Management
The MSc Supply Chain Management program at EMLV prepares future grads to such constraints and emphasizes current engineering industrial trends and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) principles in addition to the development of superior technical skills.
Taking into account the drastic changes that occurred in the last couple of years at an international scale, the MSc centers its efforts on the latest technological advancements, including the digital tools that are becoming available to manage supply chain transformation.
This MSc aims to prepare graduates to suggest and construct acceptable business models while taking into consideration societal developments and consumer expectations. As future supply chain managers prepare to take on future challenges, the program will allow them to be agents of change by becoming experts in project management and putting customers or coworkers (Kanban) first (Lean 6 Sigma), as well as acquiring new skills that will enable them to improve the flow management of materials, goods, and people by mastering an internationally recognized certification.
If you’re interested in becoming part of future change in the industry, join your peers at EMLV.