After one of the most challenging years on record for the transport and logistics sector, The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) invited leaders from across the supply chain logistics and transport sectors to share their views on what the world of supply chains will look like in 2022. Claire Walters, Unipart Logistics Chief Commercial Officer, and Unipart Group Strategy Director shared her thoughts with CILT Focus Magazine in the December 2021 edition.
The importance of an efficient, resilient, sustainable supply chain, that can respond, scale up and innovate to deliver essential service solutions in the face of supply volatility, challenges and resource shortages, has never been more evident.
The last 18 months have moved supply chain and logistics up the boardroom agenda: once seen as a cost to be minimised, now recognised as a competitive advantage, with reliability, quality and service driving customer loyalty.
In 2022, I expect to see even greater focus on supply chain resilience to protect businesses from product, resource and people shortages. As supply chain partners, we will continue to work smarter, deploying digital tools and automation to reduce waste, maximise stock visibility and predict shortages before they occur.
What is clear is that customers are seeking greater visibility, resilience and flexibility in their supply chains so they can respond effectively to sudden shifts in demand or restrictions in supply, as highlighted by the semiconductor shortage.
A strong supply chain partner will help manage sudden rises in inventory and influxes of product coming in from suppliers as they catch up on schedules. For automotive customers, we can pivot focus from the production line to the aftermarket, and back again when companies are in a position to deal with their order backlogs.
We have had a number of customers talk to us about reshoring work to the UK post-Brexit, across logistics, repair and production, and consultancy support to enable informed, strategic supply chain decisions.
Visibility will continue to be critically important, with customers wanting to reduce capital tied up in inventory. We are seeing high demand for our supply chain visibility and control tower tools, along with our data science capabilities to support.
This intelligent use of data and digital technology is a trend that will continue as supply chains become more automated and focused on making decisions in the moment. That will mean more predictive analytics, machine learning and automation.
We will continue integrating autonomous mobile robots and cobots to optimise our logistics operations, which unlocks value for our customers and our people, from higher productivity and shorter lead times, to reduced accidents, focus on higher skilled roles and decreased reliance on scarce labour resources.
The last 18 months have encouraged more collaborative ways of working within the sector and between public and private sectors to deliver critical service solutions. I hope to see even more of this, as customers look for a logistics provider that will take responsibility across the end-to end supply chain.
Sustainability will continue to be a critical theme, and supply chains will lead the charge to reduce environmental impact.
It is something Unipart is passionate about, having committed to the UN Race To Zero, solidifying our plan to be carbon neutral by 2030 and net carbon zero by 2050. In the wake of COP26, Race to Zero will be the sign of a responsible business and a competitive advantage.
Finally, the safety and wellbeing of our people gained a significant profile during the pandemic. With supply chain recruitment challenges already being experienced, next year it will be crucial for employers to demonstrate their commitment to putting people first through employee engagement, safety and wellbeing in the war for talent.
Source: CILT Focus Magazine, December 2021 Edition. Read the original article here.