MENA: Mitigating global supply chain risks
According to experts, new technologies need to be embraced to mitigate global supply chain risks.
Experts who are set to convene at the Procurement and Supply Chain MENA Summit 30 October 2019, have highlighted that Middle Eastern businesses need to develop their capabilities and embrace new technology to tackle increasing threats to the global supply chain.
Among those attending are Sam Achampong, Head of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) MENA, Dirk Karl, MTN Group Executive and CPO, and Maha Bouzeid, VP Head of Sourcing in the MEA region for Ericsson.
While Achampong, Karl and Bouzeid all agree that the Middle East is relatively well positioned to tackle key issues such as protectionism and global trade wars, Achampong believes more needs to be done to ensure the right tools and capabilities are in place to deliver industry best practice.
“Technology itself is an enabler rather than a risk,” says Achampong. “However, the lack of readiness to deploy the correct systems and solutions, as well as a shortage of talent with the relevant skills to be able to operate and add value in today’s business environment, is a risk.”
Achampong also believes that while the region is proactive to technology, training and development must be prioritised. “Industry 4.0 technologies provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for procurement and supply practitioners to re-examine what skills are needed, what tasks are crucial and what activities can be better undertaken by the technology at our disposal. The availability of increasingly effective technological tools allows procurement and supply practitioners to focus on strategic objectives aimed at generating real value and competitive advantage for an organisation, free of repetitive and transactional tasks.” says Achampong. “There is some way to go, however, to ensure that capability development initiatives continue to be in line with the skills required by employees now and in the near future.”
Karl agrees that technology has a major role to play in strengthening supply chain management in the Middle East, believing that proactivity will be the best way to mitigate potential supply chain issues.
Bouzeid, also commented that “The UAE is well equipped to deal with supply chain risks as it facilitates a base for international companies to establish themselves in the region. Safety, telecom infrastructure, schooling and healthcare are key factors for companies to choose the UAE over less safe or stable options. That is why Ericsson has invested in the establishment of a Supply Hub in Dubai to support the Middle East and East Africa markets. Businesses need to highlight the safety and the added value of doing business both with the Middle East, and within the Middle East through the UAE.”
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