EY: 3 ways to build supply chain resilience after COVID-19

By Sean Galea-Pace
We evaluate EY’s recent COVID-19 enterprise resilience article to measure the impact the coronavirus will have on the supply chain...

COVID-19 presents a major challenge for organisations all over the world. It has prompted many companies to adapt to this “new normal” and find alternative ways to conduct business. While it is uncertain to what extent conditions will change, the importance of adapting at speed is paramount.

By adopting a proactive mentality, there are several things organisations can do to foster a stronger competitive advantage in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. This could be:

  • Rethinking infrastructure to support a distributed workforce.
  • Accelerating cloud adoption to support an ecosystem approach to business operations.
  • Using automation and intelligent platforms to optimise the workforce for the conditions of crisis and recovery.

Although the pandemic is forcing companies to adopt new digital strategies and dispense of legacy systems, it has meant many firms implementing previously unconsidered ways of working. This flexible approach is essential as companies seek to establish a competitive advantage and avoid running the risk of being left behind by competitors, particuarly in a post-COVID-19 world.

What are the key areas to help guide an effective approach?

1. Rebalance IT operations to support new commerce models

By rebalancing IT operations, this will accelerate and enhance digital sales channels, the virtual customer experience and direct-to-customer delivery methods.

2. Use the time to rethink digital strategy

The current global situation is a good opportunity to make difficult decisions around replacing legacy systems, expand into cloud infrastructure, assess new technologies such as contactless payments, 3D printing and virtual reality.

3. Double down on cybersecurity as threats escalate

Ensure data is safe and that virtual infrastructure is secure. Review your end point and mobile security and revamp where necessary. It is important to reflect and consider how to better support the security of third parties such as suppliers, customers and contractors.

In the article, EY found that after the 2008 recession, “less than 10% of companies emerged stronger than before.” Their winning strategy was balancing cost cutting with selective investment, particularly in the way of new technologies. EY anticipates a similar situation to unfold, albeit on a much larger scale. The organisations that cope well will be the ones that harness their digital transformation ambitions quicker.

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