Gartner: Access to Labour Amongst Top Research Constraints

Laura Rainier at Gartner Supply Chain Symposium/Expo
New research from Gartner identifies the top current resource constraints for supply chain and procurement leaders - and solves them

Supply chain and procurement leaders can better address long-term resource constraints by focusing on the immediate risks that threaten business viability, according to new research from Gartner.

During Gartner’s Supply Chain Symposium in Barcelona, research was presented by experts that shows three key barriers preventing supply chain leaders from taking sufficient action to address constrainted resources.

Gartner found that supply chains focus their stakeholders on urgent issues to provoke action, as opposed to mitigating exposure to long-term constraints. This information was founded via a survey of 143 supply chain leaders completed in January 2024.

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“It’s difficult to motivate action on long-term constraints when leaders are focused on the clear and present dangers in front of them,” says Laura Rainier, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner Supply Chain Practice. 

“Rather than wait for a mandate that may never come, supply chain leaders can work with the short-term pressures facing the organisation to design solutions today that will address both current and future constraints.”  

Gartner’s findings suggest supply chain leaders should leverage short-term immediate business concerns to engage and provoke stakeholders to action, providing a basis to design solutions that will simultaneously address long-term constraints. 

The research identified the following long-term resource constraints, where access to labour comes out on top, and explained their impact is expected to increase as a result of exacerbated climate change. 

Gartner revealed the top six supply chain constraints at its Supply Chain Sumposium

As a result of this research, Gartner has identified three areas of action which are key to a successful supply chain strategy shift: 

  1. De-prioritise long-term constraints to motivate action: 
    By focusing on generating action through prioritising short-term risks, which stakeholders are most focused on, supply chain leaders can obtain investments and buy-ins which address their business' constraints.
    This avoids the inevitable de-prioritisation of long-term strategies when the supply chain faces disruption. 
  2. Re-prioritise long-term constraints when designing solutions: 
    Supply chain leaders should focus on designing new, more sustainable products which solve long-term constraints. 
    By engaging stake-holders in these short-term issues, but using future-proof design in the solutions they can address impacts such as labour efficiency, which Gartner identifies above. 
  3. Innovate new solutions by leveraging the marketplace: 
    By leveraging their standing as customers to overcome resistance, leading supply chains create opportunities to learn and innovate new solutions. 
    They create partnerships with innovators and solution providers with a clear goal in mind, using pilot schemes to identify and overcome barriers to successfully achieve those goals. 

Supply chain professionals can takeaway many useful insights from Gartner's Supply Chain Symposium, not least that in centering current viability concerns, this research suggests industry leaders are able to deliver stronger results through small changes made in focused areas.

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