EY: 3 ways to build supply chain resilience after COVID-19
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.
Accenture Acquires SCM Software Firm Blue Horseshoe
Accenture has announced its acquisition of Blue Horseshoe, a US-based supply chain management software provider and consultancy firm.
Upon completion, Blue Horseshoe’s 349 professionals will join Accenture’s Supply Chain & Operations group, expanding the professional services group’s capabilities to create more interconnected and resilient supply chains for clients.
“To be competitive, companies need to transform their supply chains to deliver the innovative and hyper-personalised products, services and experiences that are in high demand—and fulfilment is core to that transformation,” said Renato Scaff, Accenture’s Supply Chain & Operations North America lead. “Blue Horseshoe’s deep fulfilment consulting experience and methodologies support Accenture’s vision for building customer-centric, resilient and responsible supply chains that benefit people, society and the planet.”
Who are Blue Horseshoe?
- Founded: 2001
- CEO: Chris Cason
- Employees: 349
- Offices: 4 in USA, 1 in Amsterdam, 1 in Estonia
- Key customers: Lids, Pabst Brewing Co., Half Price Books, Britax, Major Brands
Founded in 2001 in Indiana, USA, Blue Horseshoe now operates from six offices across the US and Europe. The company provides cloud-based solutions for supply chain management, ERP, warehouse management and transportation management systems, including its own Supply Chain Cloud platform, as well as Oracle NetSuite and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management as a Microsoft Inner Circle Partner.
Blue Horseshoe specialises in fulfilment and distribution solutions, with expertise in the food and beverage, consumer packaged goods, and retail distribution industries. Over the past 20 years, the company has improved around 700 supply chains, including those of leading companies such as fashion retailer Lids, cosmetics company Regis Corporation, Pabst Brewing Co., and family-owned bookstore chain Half Price Books.
“For two decades, we’ve worked with clients to build connectedness, efficiency and automation across their enterprise and supply chain operations,” said Chris Cason, CEO, Blue Horseshoe. “As part of Accenture, we will bring increased scale and combined expertise to help clients put in place next generation supply chain and fulfillment strategies that meet customer expectations and support business growth.”
Accenture's acquisition of Blue Horseshoe is subject to customary closing conditions.