increase post-pandemic. Speeding up the rate at which productsare transported is one benefit of automation. Another is the ability to keep track of shipping containers, so they are used more efficiently and do not sit idle while products wait to be transported.
Franchises are attempting to localize products in new markets to avoid the need for extensive supply chains. This is especially true for restaurant chains that are searching for localproviders to replace global suppliers. Initially, this may be anexpensive proposition but will deliver long-term benefits inefficiency and supply chain protection.
The bottom line is that the viability of supply chains is anessential ingredient as the world strives to recover from theCOVID- 19 pandemic. Lessons learned from the disruptioncaused by the virus need to inform future planning and theimplementation of more robust supply chains to maintain thehealth of the global economy. MH&L
William (Bill) Edwards is CEO of Edwards Global Services(EGS) ( www.edwardsglobal.com) and a global advisorto CEOs. He has a four-decade career accelerating theinternational growth of more than 40 companies. He is anexpert on choosing the right global markets for specificbrands, country market research, strategic planning,partner due diligence, new country start-ups, global trendanalysis, growing existing country operations, supplychain management and cultural adaptation.
chain can be seen in the U.S. homebuilding market. Shortagesin the lumber supply have resulted in skyrocketing prices thatdirectly affect the cost of building a home. Automakers havehad to slow down or stop assembly lines altogether due to ashortage of the necessary types of computer chips needed tomanufacture vehicles.
The dislocation of shipping containers is another problemthat impacts the ability of supply chains to address customer demands and return to pre-pandemic service levels. Manycontainers were used to deliver goods at the outset of the pandemic but then were left sitting idle due to lack of production,and without available containers, further disruption in supplychains will take months to fully resolve.
WHAT SUPPLY CHAIN TRENDS ARE LIKELY
TO EMERGE POST-PANDEMIC?
The effects of the COVID- 19 pandemic on supply chainshave forced organizations to reevaluate the way they obtainthe products necessary for the survival of their business. Thefollowing trends are poised to impact supply chains as theworld emerges from the pandemic and attempts to return topre-pandemic levels of commerce.
Many global industries were adversely affected when
China reduced exports to address an increase in internal de-
mands. This raised red flags across the manufacturing sector
as alternative supply streams need to be developed to avoid
similar incidents in the future. Companies are now looking to
spread out manufacturing requirements to multiple countries
and reduce their reliance on a sole provider.
Near-shoring is one method of addressing insecurity over
the reliability of supply chains. Companies in the U.S. are
looking to relocate some manufacturing to Mexico or Cana-
da to avoid being cut off. This may lead to higher prices but
would protect the industries from sudden shortages.
Automation in the shipping industry is another trend that will
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FRANCHISES ARE ATTEMPTING
TO LOCALIZE PRODUCTS IN NEW
MARKETS TO AVOID THE NEED FOR
EXTENSIVE SUPPLY CHAINS. THIS IS
ESPECIALLY TRUE FOR RESTAURANT
CHAINS THAT ARE SEARCHING FOR
LOCAL PROVIDERS TO REPLACE