Supply chain digitalisation | Advanced Engineering

The UK's leading annual gathering of OEMs and engineering supply chain professionals

2 & 3 November 2022 | NEC, Birmingham

Supply chain digitalisation: The calls to skill up have never been so prescient

We are at a time where the kind of once-in-a-lifetime crises that have marked previous decades have compressed into just a couple of years. With a firm priority on helping those who are most directly affected in the current Ukraine crisis, especially regional employees, companies will also be looking at how to keep their supply chains functioning. Many will have already adapted in some way as a response to the pandemic. But there’s clearly no time even for them to rest on their laurels. Even before the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the list of issues was bigger than ever. Brexit, the US-China trade war, Covid, and the Suez Canal blockage, had already brewed up problems such as semiconductor shortages, increased cybersecurity threats, and rising shipping costs. Now add global inflation caused by soaring oil prices and you can see more than ever that a key takeaway from reviewing supply chains is that you need to keep reviewing supply chains. Full visibility that is wide and deep, going down through all tiers of the value chain is vital, as is the implementation of options that mitigate every ‘what if,’ and the implementation of a set of alarms which signpost specific risks before they occur.

The requirement for digitalisation to help meet these challenges exposes another skills gap, and companies will be even more in need of new talent in digital skills. It reiterates the need for a National Skills Taskforce, already recommended by Make UK, which would have digital at its core. Perhaps one positive side effect of suffering the slings and arrows of Covid is that the manufacturing sector is more prepared than it otherwise would have been to take on this next phase of global disruption and those which will inevitably be following it.

How will you be prioritising your supply chains? Are you a supplier who is affected by customer supply chain reorganisations? Or perhaps you are worried about acquiring the right skills. Let us know your thoughts and experiences.

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